Apr. 16, 2017

The American-Cinquain style

The American-Cinquain style

The American-Cinquain style was created by a woman named Adelaide Crapsey. The Cinquain is a short poem, composed of five lines, usually unrhymed. As a rule, each line consists of a certain number of syllables. The pattern is: 2-4-6-8-2. The first line has two syllables. The second line has four syllables. The third line has six. The fourth line has eight. And the fifth line, like the first, has two syllables. It is a favorite poetic style, and widely used.

A year after her death, Adelaide Crapsey’s book, titled ‘Verses‘ was published, which included twenty-eight cinquains. And she always titled her cinquains. Through structure and strong imagery, she intimated a clear picture with mood and feeling. The following is an example of her cinquain style. The title is ‘November’s Night.’

With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp'd, break from the trees
And fall.

Footnote: The above information pertains to the American Cinquain-poetic style and was compiled by Walterrean Salley.

Walterrean Salley