American Cinquain Poems

Writing Challenge

This is Day 7 of my 30 Day Challenge.

Today’s writing task is to write 2 Cinquain poems.

In the early twentieth century the American poet Adelaide Crapsey, inspired by the five-line Japanese poetic form of tanka, created a poetic form known as the American cinquain.

The American cinquain is an unrhymed, five-lines, defined by the number of syllables in each line—the first line has two syllables, the second has four, the third six, the fourth eight, and the fifth two (2-4-6-8-2).

American cinquains have inspired a number of variations:

  • Reverse cinquain – a cinquain in reverse order, so the syllables in its lines follow the pattern of 2-8-6-4-2.
  • Mirror cinquaina cinquain followed by a reverse cinquain.
  • Butterfly cinquaina cinquain is merged with a reverse cinquain, such that the final two syllable line of the cinquain is the first line of the reverse cinquain. The result is a nine-line poem with the syllable-per-line pattern of 2-4-6-8-2-8-6-4-2.
  • Crown cinquain – five cinquains, written to form a single five-stanza poem.

 

Day 7 – Two American Cinquains

germ-41368_1280

 

Just found
bugs in my hair,
great big hairy creatures, 
thought I might share them with my 
best friend. 

 

Hungry
caterpillar
crawling on my lettuce,
we lock eyes and then I pounce –
crunchy.

Mike Jackson

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