The Wreck Cinquains

[ASIDE : OK, something new for me. A form poem, the Cinquain!
The Cinquain, as first described in 1909 by Adelaide Crapsy,
was a short, unrhymed poem consisting of twenty-two syllables
distributed as 2, 4, 6, 8, 2, in five lines. Today, the cinquain is not
an overly popular poetic form, but is still in use, and has developed
into two distinct forms.

The "proper" form is the traditional 2/4/6/8/2 syllable construction,
where the syllable count is more important than the word count.

In the alternative modern form, the word count is important, but
the syllable count is not. The word count per line goes 1/2/3/4/1,
and the words have to be of a certain type.
Line 1 = one word (noun), a title or the name of the subject
Line 2 = two words (adjectives) describing the title
Line 3 = three words (verbs) describing an action related to the title
Line 4 = four words describing a feeling about the title; a complete
Line 5 = one word referring back to the title or summing up the poem ]

Traditional Style : counting syllables

Car wreck!
Death, destruction
Could have been prevented
People must learn to not drive drunk

Modern Style : counting words

Horrible, fatal
Crunching, maiming, killing
Sadness and anger overwhelm.

Harry Edward Gilleland      04.16.02    printer friendly