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How to Write Cinquain Poetry

By Gary R. Hess. Category: Poetry

There is a wide variety of poetry. From my last count, there are at least 55. As with all writings, it's important to understand each form and technique before deciding which best fits the purpose of what we are about to write. Writing blindly will show through any attempts to hide it and the reader will notice. This creates bad poetry and a bad experience for all readers of your poem.

One of the finest poetry forms is the cinquain. If you are wanting to write a poem about a specific subject that can be summed up in one word and you want to make it short and sweet, you should consider writing in this genre. However, you should know how to show every emotion within only a few lines.

Like many poetry forms, the cinquain is virtually an unknown style outside the hardcore poet world. Nonetheless, it is a fantastic way to show your views and express yourself.

A cinquain is made up of three separate methods and each holds a specific purpose. The three styles are outlined below:

  1. This style may be written about anything. However, it's often still used to describe a person, place, or thing. Nonetheless, there's nothing wrong about stepping outside the box.

    Line1: One word
    Line2: Two words
    Line 3: Three words
    Line 4: Four words
    Line 5: One word
  2. This poem is strictly about a specific noun, but not (usually) a specific person--in rare occasions, I have seen them about specific objects. For example, it may be about a cup, a specific trophy, a sport, a sportsman.

    Line1: A noun
    Line2: Two adjectives
    Line 3: Three -ing words
    Line 4: A phrase
    Line 5: Another word for the noun
  3. This style of cinquain is most easily adapted to various subjects. Feel free to use it any way you like, just stick to the form.

    Line1: Two syllables
    Line2: Four syllables
    Line 3: Six syllables
    Line 4: Eight syllables
    Line 5: Two syllables

When writing a cinquain poem, it is important to stay on topic, keep your audience interested, and express emotion. To be successful when writing this poetic form, the poet must carefully construct a meaningful, beautiful, and overwhelming poem.

Keep it interesting, unique, and fun. When you write, be sure to be inspired. Inspired poetry makes for the best writing and best read. Being inspired shows within the poem. It shows within the voice of the poet and within the chosen words the author uses.