Cinquain # 1:  Meeting The Challenge

 It’s here:
The challenge now is this:
A brand new poem ev’ry day.

This year for NaPoWriMo, I’m creating a new cinquain every day in April (or at least I’m starting out to do that. I may or may not have 30 when we’re done.) If you’d like to challenge yourself to write a new poem every day during National Poetry Writing Month, hop over to the NaPoWriMo site for some interesting information and prompts. You don’t have to follow the prompts, but they’re worth checking out in case they strike your fancy.

I’m doing cinquain because, although I generally prefer poetry forms that require rhyme and specific meter, I do occasionally enjoy writing in some of the forms that are based on syllable count. And of all those forms, my favorite is cinquain.  It is also the only totally American poetic form — created by the American poet Adelaide Crapsey.  She was inspired by the Japanese forms of haiku and tanka, but cinquain has its own syllabic pattern and its own unique charm. So this time around, rather than follow the NaPoWriMo prompts, I’m going cinquain all the way.

The form requires a 5-line stanza with the syllable count in each line as follows:

Line 1 — 2 syllables
Line 2 — 4 syllables
Line 3 — 6 syllables
Line 4 — 8 syllables
Line 5 — 2 syllables

The basic meter is iambic pentameter. However, there are many variations on the cinquain that Adelaide Crapsey wrote, and as with other poetic forms, each poet adds his or her own personality to the work.