Young Writers Society

Home » Forums » Resources » Knowledge Base » Poetry Tutorials

Beautiful Cinquains & How To Write Them

User avatar
745 Reviews


Gender: Male
Points: 1626
Reviews: 745
Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:19 am
Lumi says...

Hello, Internet.

Today, you're going to learn of a poetic style you've probably never heard of, and that's perfectly fine. Like many poetic forms, the cinquain is an elusive beauty that, once mastered, is highly appreciated by any poet who can recognize the subtle method. Despite its lack of fame, cinquains are quite easy to write. Cinquains are constructed of five (cin) lines, and describe a specific object of admiration or focus. When writing cinquains, you must follow two rules.

Rule #1: Cinquains Must Fit a Syllabic Pattern.

What's the pattern? Glad you asked! Follow this format:

Line 1 has two syllables.
Line 2 has four syllables.
Line 3 has six syllables.
Line 4 has eight syllables.
Line 5 has two syllables.

Rule #2: Lines of a cinquain cannot be filled by just any words. Each line has specific criteria to meet, which is where the tricky part comes in.

What's this pattern? Again, glad you asked. Follow this format:

Line 1 consists of a single noun consisting of two syllables (i.e. ally).
Line 2 consists of two adjectives.
Line 3 consists of three participles, or "-ing words".
Line 4 consists of a phrase--completely free for your choosing.
Line 5 consists of a single, two-syllable "synonym" for the noun in line #1. (i.e. partner)

Finally, take an example of a cinquain.

protective, true,
fighting, struggling, grieving;
these are the men I idolize--

You may be thinking, "Oh, Lumi, that's a cool standalone poem you have there. I guess all cinquains are standalone." But you'd be wrong! If you're a free-verse poet, like myself, you'll find that this smooth jam is easy to fit into your style, bringing specific focus to a single concept that otherwise may be overlooked by the reader. If you can master this technique and incorporate it into your writing, you'll be one step closer to mastering your craft.

Until next poem,

I am a forest fire and an ocean, and I will burn you just as much
as I will drown everything you have inside.
-Shinji Moon

I am the property of Rydia, please return me to her ship.

User avatar
480 Reviews

Gender: Female
Points: 4282
Reviews: 480
Thu May 05, 2016 2:32 pm
Holysocks says...

I love this.
I hope it's a good joke because otherwise I'll have got it for nothing...

WARNING: Do not take grammar advice from me... EVER.

A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.
— Roald Dahl