a po-
etic stanza
of five lines with two, four,
six, eight, and two syllables in
each line

Developed by Adelaide Crapsey (1878-1914) in poems such as:


These be
Three silent things
The falling snow.. the hour
Before the dawn.. the mouth of one
Just dead.

Laurel in the Berkshires

And coral! Oh, I'll
Climb the great pasture rocks
And dream me mermaid in the sun's
Gold flood.

Hints for Good Cinquains:

1) Be playful, imaginative...even nonsensical.
2) Be concrete. Avoid grand statements about life or love or death or ...
3) Avoid strings of adjectives...unless they are really odd ones (as in my poem).
4) Let one line run on to the next.
5) Let your last line - those two little syllables - be surprising.
6) Ignore these hints.

Source: Handbook of Poetic Forms, Ron Padgett ed.

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