B y A. Gagliardi
inflate my heart
with pleasure of unsuspected
around our tree,
softly, steadily, cloak-
ing our marriage bed and shouting
Missed your birthday!
Can't believe how time flies.
Thought you were set upon the throne
the umpteenth time.
“All your opinions are
mine.” Unless I choose to differ
at my window
sitting, singing, looking
in - eying my lunch crackers greed-
What is a cinquain?
A cinquain is a precisely counted five lined poem. (A.K.A. a quintain or qintet) It can stand alone as a poem or act as a stanza or stanzas withing a larger work. It is thought that this form or poetry originated in French medieval times. The Cinquain tells a little story, with some action or expresses feeling.
The counting is in the words or the syllables and there are a specified number on each line.
- line one: is one word ( a noun or a subject - the title)
- line two: ( consists of two words that describe line one, usually adjectives describing the title)
- line three: (three words that provide action, usually verbs or words ending in -ing)
- line four: (four words that provide feeling, and may be one phrase or complete the sentence)
line five: (One word again; a noun that sums it up, or is a synonym for line one)
If you look just at syllables, this type of poem provides an opportunity and a challenge to write a poem with meaning in just twenty two syllables.
- Line one: 2 noun syllables
- Line two: 4 adjective syllables
- Line three: 6 verb syllables
- Line four: 8 syllables
- Line five: 2 synonym syllables.
Writing a poem using this last syllable count, a Didactic Cinquain technique, also provides the release of word choice, so it doesn't matter wither the word is a noun, verb, adjective, or synonym.
Third graders from Kenny Community School do Cinquains
Running, playing, licking
Kittens are mini tigers. Roar
Scarying, jumping, running.
The clown is tricky, magical
eating, licking, playing
She loves her kittens very much
Yummy, oh my
dancing, celebrating, enjoying
on my birthday delicious cake
yelling, screaming, running.
People crying over strange noise.
green and bumpy
sitting, doing nothing.
Pickles are very sour and weird
brown, tiny, crispy
smooth, brown, salty, chocolate chip
breaking, rolling, puppies
black as the night, smart as
rich and creamy
eyeing, looking, drooling
can’t wait to sink your teeth into
playing, sleeping, running
I throw a ball, he catches it
drooling, waiting, sneaking,
licking my fingers and dreaming
sugar, smelling, licking
ice cream is so delicious
freezing, flying, dancing
delightful flowing in the air
licking, scratching, napping
My cat is a scratching beast, roar!
playing, laughing, jumping
fun for all of the kids yahoo
furry and loud
purring, licking, sleeping
moves very fast and agilely
Eating, munching, snacking
Mega delicious flour baked
calming, weirdo, awesome.
When the cowboy meets his cowgirl
eating, laughing, playing
blue cone with cotton candy fun
playing, jumping, running
little cats playing with big cats
I recently had the pleasure of teaching a "making Cinquains" Lesson to third graders in the school where I teach. The students were witty, bright, funny and intriguing. And they worked tocome up with great poetry! Check out the poems they created.
Now it's your turn to try a Cinquain poem. Put your work in a comment below. We would love to see what you come up with.
Thanks for playing our game of poetry.