Are Cinquains a Cinch?
Everyone had so much fun with the lunes, I thought I'd try you on another
short syllable-counting form.
The cinquain is a five-line poem (from the French word for "five", "cinq") with the following strict pattern:
The cinquain was developed by a reclusive poet named Adelaide Crapsy in the early 1900's. She was directly inspired by a study of Japanese haiku and tanka. One of Adelaide's most memorable cinquain's is:
One of my own:
Cinquains do not have to be so somber. From Jeanne Cassler's poems published at the Cinquain Homepage:
My own attempt:
What can you do with 22 syllables?***
The basic critique is simply whether the syllable count is correct, per line. Then critique as any other peom -- does it work as a poem, regardless of the form? If you want to go beyond that, you might examine how the form adds to, or perhaps detracts from, the effectiveness of the poem. And anyone want to speculate on what the charm of these strict-syllable forms is?
A good web-reference on cinquain is the AHA! Poetry Cinquain Homepage.