I love playing with poetic forms, especially when the rules aren’t so complicated that I have trouble keeping up with the technical issues of the poem. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve flubbed up a sestina on the fourth or fifth stanza.
So I’m happy to share the cinquain, which is a nifty five-line poetic form from Adelaide Crapsey. Inspired by tanka, the cinquain is comprised of 2 syllables in the first line, 4 in the second line, 6 in the third, 8 in the fourth, and 2 in the fifth. Plus, poets have the freedom to add or subtract one syllable from each line. That’s a lot of freedom for such a small poem.
Here’s my attempt at a cinquain:
contain the days,
but is my life really
just a graph of numbers held by
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Here are some other poetic forms: