Before Adelaide Crapsy developed her version, a cinquain had the same definition as quintain. These are both poems of five lines with varying rhyme, though most often forming the familiar 'abab' layout. Ms. Crapsy's version of a cinquain is somewhat different. While she was American, Japanese poetry was an obvious influence.
The style still contains five lines, but the syllables of each are strictly measured. The first and fifth contain two syllables apiece. Line two has four syllables, line three is allottted six, and the fourth line contains eight. This gives you a grand total of twenty-two syllables in which to express yourself. Rhyme is optional in this version.
An example of a cinquain:
Line 1: Thunder,
The tetractys, made famous by Pythagoras, has become a modern poetry form. Ten was thought to be a number of power, and by having the lines leading up to the last line equal ten, it seemed logical for the creator of the tetractys poetry form to name it such.
A tetractys has in total, five lines. The syllables are as follows:
First Line - 1 syllable
Second Line - 2 syllables
Third Line - 3 syllables
Fourth Line - 4 syllables
Fifth Line - 10 syllables
In any formatting, it gives a triangle shape. It can be reversed, starting with the ten lines, and moving downwards for a "reversed tetractys." There are also what is called "double tetractys" in which two you have a tetractys followed immediately by a second tetractys. A normal tetractys followed by a reversed tetractys would give you a diamond shape.
There is no set rhyme scheme for a tetractys, you can choose to rhyme or not. Here are two examples from Ray Stebbing, who credits himself with coming up with this form:
A rictameter is an interesting, and visually beautiful type of poem. When centered, it looks much like a diamond. It is similar in idea to a haiku as far as the spirit of the poem, but seems to be an evolution of a cinquain.
To form a rictameter, you start with a line of two syllables, then consecutively increase each syllable number in the next lines by two, until you reach ten syllables in the fifth line. Then, you start decreasing by two syllables, until you reach the same two syllable line you started with.
The syllables would look something like this per line: 2,4,6,8,10,8,6,4,2.
If you wish to experiment with a rictameter, there are a number of ways to do so, one of which, the simplest, is to not use the same 2 syllable word from line one in line nine. There are also "double rictameters" which is basically one poem, of two rictameters in a row, which again is very visually expressive. There is also the inverted rictameter, in which you start with a ten syllable line, go down to a
The terza rima is a traditional poetic form whose most renowned offspring is Dante's 'The Divine Comedy' (ca. 1300).
Obviously it wasn't first written in English, but it works just as well and is very pleasant in my opinion, especially when it's read aloud/performed.
The form is best written in iambic pentameter:
The sheep was killed by wings of fire and ice;
(the SHEEP | was KILLED | by WINGS | of FIRE | and ICE)
And yes, I know that example is horrible, but it gets the point across
The rhyming scheme is as follows:
a-b-a, b-c-b, c-d-c, d-e-d, e-e
Here is an example from Shelley's 'Ode to the West Wind':
O wild West Wing, thou breath of Autumn's being, (a)
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead (b)
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing, (a)
Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red, (b)
Pestilence stricken multitudes: O thou (c)
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed (b)
The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low
The Ghazal is an adaptation of a Persian form of poetry used to honor emperors and noblemen. A part of this poem broke off and evolved into the Ghazal. It is not a very commonly used English form as it was introduced only recently.
The Ghazal is a string of 5-15 couplets, with each couplet being able to stand alone as a complete thought and/or poem. At the end of the second line of every couplet is a 1-3 word long refrain. The word before the refrain is a rhyme that carries through the entire poem. A rhyming scheme would look like that: AA, BA, CA, DA, and so on.
The first and last couplets are special. In the first couplet, called matla, the rhyme is used in both lines. Often in the last couplet, the author's penname is used. The last couplet is the most personal one of the poem, and expresses something from the author's point of view.
Here is a Ghazal by Erin A. Thomas.
Once bright homes in blossom, now dead fallen,
They lay by the spinning blade's head fallen.
Haiku is a type of poetic form as well as a way of describing and experiencing the world. A haiku is a very short, 17 syllable form. It usually consists of three lines with a 5 - 7- 5 syllable pattern. This seems deceptively simple, but the haiku form can take years to master. A well written haiku is based in the physical world of our senses, but suggests something more deep, and usually linked to nature and its existence.
However, a more modern version of haiku called free-form-haiku is more relaxed on terms of the subject (however, it must still be of a spiritual nature). The original form of haiku does not sound appealing when read aloud and the poet or reader who prefers to read poetry out loud may wish to use the free-form-haiku which can extend the syllable pattern to 6 – 8 –6 , this can sound a lot more appealing than the 5 – 7 –5 form and is becomingly increasingly popular recently.
The briefness of a haiku gives the reader attention to a single, insightful moment. Due to the a
The Luc Bat
The Luc Bat
Many poets enjoy writing in Tri meter (six syllable lines) and Tetra meter (eight syllable lines), so this form should be fun to experiment with. Some of you who prefer lyrical poetry might find this form useful, as well as challenging, because it lends itself quite nicely to some styles of story telling as well.
The Luc Bat is a Vietnamese form of poetry, which simply means "six eight." You can see there was an influence by the French as it was The Colony of Indo China before it became Vietnam. It was introduced into Europe by the French, but for some reason never became popular.
The odd lines (1, 3, 5, etc.) are six syllables long, and the even lines (2, 4, 6 etc.) are eight syllables long, hence the title of the form. The rhyme scheme is simple as well. The last word (sixth syllable) of an odd line rhymes with the sixth syllable of the even line and the eighth syllable rhymes with the sixth syllable of the next odd line. The final even line rhymes back to the first line.
Tanka (or Waka)
Its origin is Japan, its history since whenever. From what\'s been archaeologically found, the oldest tanka dates back to a.D. 620. Consequently, and obviously this form is far older than the haiku, which firmly established itself in the Edo era. The oldest anthology of previously made tanka is said to be made around the year a.D. 760 (This anthology is called Manyoshu and contains over 4000 poems in 20 volumes written by everybody from the emperor to normal peasants). The themes were - not surprisingly - drawn from nature and tradition, then evolved from the personal to subjective, adding Chinese influences of philosophy and culture at that time, incorporating legends and myths, and eventually weaving its way as a tool for socialization, into the lives of the aristocratic. As time went by the wordings became more honest of ones emotions and became sophisticated in form.
The form is simply 5-7-5-7-7 syllables. In Japanese, it is written on one line, or divided in two (5
The triolet (pronounced as tree-oh-lay) is one of the many fixed forms of verses we have today. It was invented in medieval France, and has been preserved through modern literature.
Back in the medieval ages, the triolets were short witty poems that had a ten-syllable meter to it. It was perhaps due to the lightness of this structure that the triolet was often used to express humour, although it has been said that some of the first English triolets were of spiritual content.
A triolet is a French verse of eight lines and two rhymes. Out of these eight lines, five of them are repeated or refrained lines. In the following illustration, these five lines are represented by the alphabet A/a:
A – first line of the poem
B – second line of the poem
a – rhymes with the first line
A – identical to the first line
a – rhymes with the first line
b – rhymes with the second line
A – identical to the first line
B – identical to the second line
Thus, it is