Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cinquain. Say what?

I need to trek over to for a tutorial on how to pronounce the word (being far more oriented to the written word than the oral, I tend to forget this necessary step before embarrassing myself in public). However, I am joyed today by my discovery of the simple cinquain.

The cinquain is what you get what you google for poetry forms and start clicking around, as I am apt to do. So far, I've never had a problem the internet couldn't solve, and that applies to moments of writer's block as well. The cinquain is a short unrhymed poem, similar to a haiku in concept. They are 22 syllables, 5 lines, structured as so:


I first read about them here. The blog also includes several modern examples of the form, which I thought were really excellent. I liked this one by Tom Greer, for instance:

Your skin,
a delicate
melange of sand and sun,
the slightest taste of cinnamon
and salt.

and this one, by Jean Cassler:

First Visit to the Ocean
She's lost
inside her laugh
before the rising tide
that reaches out to tickle her
bare toes.

You can read these poems, and others by the authors, on the linked site.

Apparently the cinquain is not a very popular form of poetry these days, but there are always poets trying new things. I find for me, experimenting with form can be very educational -- it focuses my writing, and I often find myself with something fresh.

So. I wrote my first cinquain today. What about you?

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