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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, <---- 2 syllables
Line 2: Over my head, <---- 4 syllables
Line 3: A prelude to torrents <---- 6 syllables
Line 4: Of hissing rain lasting only <---- 8 syllables
Line 5: Moments. <---- 2 syllables
Total: 22

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Poetic Form - the Cinquain


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aoife-words Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2004
I should really
Give this poetic form
Some sort of try out to see if
It works., ok, doesn't seem so bad, might give it a proper try though, lol. Thanks! :D
TheFlawedOne Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2004  Hobbyist Writer
This was good to read I wrote one of these before and this describes it well.
Aria-Devi Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2004
There are those who say restrictions like this limit what a writer has to say,
I think they condense it.
saturn-genesis Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2004  Student General Artist
There is an excercise given at my Creative Writing Club where you receive a poem that actually exists (I forget the name) and we are instructed to remove all the unneccesarry lines and you're right, it is strange how much words can be condensed.

I oughtta try this form for a while.
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Submitted on
February 29, 2004
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