WD Poetic Form Challenge: Cinquain

It’s time for another WD Poetic Form Challenge, and as you may have guessed, this time around we’re going to attack the cinquain. Click here to read my original post on the cinquain, but here are the basics of this form:

  • Five-line poem.
  • First line has two syllables; second line has four syllables; third line has six syllables; fourth line has eight; and the final line has two.
  • There is the option of adding or deleting one syllable from each line, though for the purposes of this challenge, I’ll prefer a straight up cinquain.

All you have to do to participate in this challenge is to write a cinquain, share it in the comments below, and include your name as you’d like it to appear in print. It’s really as simple as that.

Other specs:

  • Challenge is free. No entry fee.
  • Winner (and sometimes a runner up or two) will be featured in a future issue of Writer’s Digest magazine in the Poetic Asides column.
  • Deadline: 11:59 p.m. (Atlanta, GA time) on July 23, 2013. So you have one week to write five lines and 22 syllables.
  • Poets can enter as many cinquains as they wish.
  • All submitted poems should be previously unpublished. If it appeared on your personal blog or a previous Poetic Asides post in the comments, I’d consider those previously unpublished if you do. If you have a question about a situation, just send me an e-mail at robert.brewer@fwmedia.com.

Happy poeming!


Workshop your poetry!

From the comfort of home, poets can workshop their poetry in the Advanced Poetry Writing workshop. Over the course of six weeks, poets will write and receive feedback on six poems. It’s a great opportunity to receive unbiased and constructive criticism from your peers.

Click to continue.


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466 thoughts on “WD Poetic Form Challenge: Cinquain

  1. LuvingLife

    woman knows that
    when she falls for a man,
    her heart beats uncontrollably
    for him.

    The war
    for the greatest
    happiness is fought when
    the soul is facing pure evil
    and wins.

    Taisha C.

  2. Azma


    The guests
    at her dancing,
    stared. They questioned her mom-
    “How does she dance so confident?”
    “She’s blind”

    -Azma Sheikh

  3. PressOn

    Robert, I love this form and appreciate the opportunity to have you judge them. I’ve submitted several, though, as feel a bit sheepish that you have to wade through all this stuff.

    1. dandelionwine

      I was sort of thinking the same thing– little pangs of poetry-pile guilt. Now I’m trying to visualize what he does to keep each poem from looking and sounding like just another string of words. Does he read them aloud? Only read a few at a time? Leap around the room?

      1. hojawile

        The challenge is left to each poet to make each poem stand out unique and powerful instead of blurring lines echoing others’ words.
        I vaguely recall some quote by a well-known man apologizing that he had not time to write a short note. These brief forms of poetry push us to speak volumes in miniature!

  4. samrichard84

    A cinquain here
    Sustain it without fear
    Good job!


    are limited
    by syllables and lines.
    It’s true!

    – Samuel Richard

  5. JRSimmang

    Ride on,
    my Valkyries.
    Seek not the glory of
    battle, but the triumphant horns
    of death!
    fruit: reveal to
    me your red, red flesh, your
    slippery, sticky, sweetness, your

    -JR Simmang


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