Onomatopoetry: Cinquain

An unrhymed five line poem or quintet, the Cinquain was developed by American poet: Adelaide Crapsey.

Lines run 1, 2, 3, 4, and 1 stresses with 2, 4, 6, 8, and 2 syllables respectively.
Line 1  noun
Line 2  descriptive phrase
Line 3  action phrase
Line 4  emotive phrase
Line 5 two syllable ending
The form is illustrated by Crapsey in the poem: November Night.
With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp'd, break from the trees
And fall.
Other variations exist but this one is the original format.



Cinquains can be created for any topic or emotion. This poetic form gives poets structure without hindering their creativity.
Workshop Assignment 1: Write separate five line Cinquains about each of the four seasons.

Workshop Assignment 2: Write a Cinquain using only nouns and verbs, with no connecting articles, adjectives, adverbs, or phraseology. 


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