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Wednesday, April 4, 2012


April is National Poetry Month, so I thought I would share some poetry-related words with you over the next couple of weeks.

The term cinquain [sing-keyn] refers to a poem or stanza that is five lines long.  There are different types of cinquains.  When I looked for them online, I found that the most common type of cinquain is one that contains 22 syllables, with a specific number of syllables for each line (two, four, six, eight, and then two again).

It took some searching, but I finally found references to the kind of cinquain that I was familiar with, the kind that I learned about in my jr. high and high school English classes.  These cinquains follow the format below:
  1. Subject (noun) - 1 word
  2. Description (adjectives) - 2 words
  3. Action (verbs) - 3 words
  4. Feelings (phrase or sentence) - 4 words
  5. Synonym for line 1, or word that sums up the poem - 1 word
I wrote several cinquains as a teenager, for my classes and also just for fun.  Here is one of them:

Silver, silent
Shining, shimmering, glowing
Embracing the green grass

It's been many, many years since I last attempted writing one, so I'm a little rusty, but here's one that I came up with this week:

Fresh, fragrant.
Growing, reaching, blossoming.
Filling me with joy --

I hope that you will try your hand at writing a cinquain or two (or more!) this month.  If you do, I'd love for you to share your poetry here!

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