A cinquain is a five-line poem, normally without rhyme, but with a specific syllable count of 2-4-6-8-2. The form was invented by Adelaide Crapsey, an American poet who took her inspiration from Japanese haiku and tanka. As with most other poetic forms, the cinquaine has since been developed to encompass a variety of ways, whilst always holding to Crapsey’s basic formula.
The following amplification is taken from: ‘The Cinquain’ ByDeborah Kolodii, as published on the ‘Shadow Poetry’ website …
The ideal cinquain for Crapsey was one that worked up to a turn or climax, and then fell back. Similar to the “twist” that often occurs in the final couplet of a sonnet, a cinquain’s “turn” usually occurs during the final, shorter fifth line or immediately before it. Thus, the momentum of a cinquain grows with each subsequent line as another two syllables, … (are) added bringing the poem to a climax at the fourth line, falling back to a two syllable “punch line”.
In another of my occasional attempts at structuring my poetic thoughts into a (to me) new poetic form, I give below three of my own examples of the CINQUAINE.
My life Lives in my work Searching for the right words Seeking to make them tell the truth Poet
Regrets Are not for me Rather, let the past rest Whilst I live on in the present With hope
Winter Ends as the Spring Advances with new life Bringing hope and joy to us all Rebirth