How to Write a Cinquain
A cinquain is a poem consisting only of five lines that were inspired by the Japanese haiku and given popularity thanks to the poet Adelaine Crapsey. Writing a Cinquain is fairly easy since it does not consist of too many words and stanzas, provided that you are familiar with the rules.
Cinquains follow a strict pattern. The first line should consist of two syllables, the second line of four syllables, the third line of six syllables, the fourth line of eight syllables and the fifth line of two syllables again. In other words, in each line a new word should be added, and the maximum number of words allowed is four (in the fourth line).
If you wish to add variety to your Cinquain, you can play with reversing the lines. This is called a Reversed Cinquain. You can start with one word, then with four, three, two, and one again. Another form of the Cinquain is the Mirror Cinquain, which is usually adopted to elongate the poem by adding five more lines, making it a ten-line poem. Start with the familiar pattern of 1-2-3-4-1 and then backwards from the sixth through the tenth, as follows: 1-4-3-2-1.
The Butterfly Cinquain is yet another form of the Cinquain that is more complex and yet more visually attractive. The butterfly Cinquain is constructed in the following pattern: 1-2-3-4-1-4-3-2-1. The last pattern is used to create a visual poem which looks like the wings of a butterfly. This is a very helpful trick in poetry when creating not only a meaningful poem, but also supporting this meaning in a visual and structural way. Here is an example of reversed Cinquain – Reverse Cinquain and to see an example of a butterfly cinquain, you can check out the following link – Allpoetry.com
With regard to the theme, the Cinquain usually deals with the concrete rather than with abstract notions. The words of this poetic form would often evoke the sense of touch, sight, smell and hearing more than feelings or complex notions. As for the organization of the theme, the first line of the Cinquain should be the title, the second line should be a description of the title, the third should evoke some action in which the title is involved, and the fourth line should describe some feeling around the title. And in the last sentence, you could substitute the title with a synonym of your choice.
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