SO WHAT'S A CINQUAIN? Pronounced (sing-KANE). Technically, any five-line poem or stanza is a cinquain, the latter, sometimes referred to as a quintet. AMERICAN CINQUAIN -- The most common form is a counted syllabic poem of five lines of free verse: two, four, six, eight, two syllables each, and is generally in iambic foot. It was developed in the early 20th Century by the American poet, Adelaide Crapsey (1878-1914), whose brief cinquain series was published posthumously in her book titled "Verse"(Rochester, NY: Manas Press,1915). It is derived from the Japanese haiku and tanka traditions, which were modified by Crapsey to fit polysyllabic English-language verse. DIDACTIC CINQUAIN There is another form of cinquain which is typically used to teach young children the rudiments of line and meter: line 1: one word names the subject; line 2: two words describe the subject; line 3: three words relate what it is doing; line 4: four words tell how you feel about it; line 5: one word renames the subject. This is generally used as a didactic device in elementary schools. --Billie Dee
AHA! Poetry: Cinquain
A description of the form with numerous examples by Jeanne Cassler, Thomas D. Greer, and Alan Reynolds.
AMAZE: The Cinquain Journal
Dedicated to developing, promoting, and publishing cinquains in the traditional form established by Adelaide Crapsey as well as innovative forms such as mirror cinquains and cinquain cycles or sequences.
American Verse Project - Adelaide Crapsey
The complete works of Adelaide Crapsey, mother of the cinquain form.
Brief Words
Five cinquains and five doublets (couplets with a title) by the Scottish poet William Soutar.
A description of the form with examples by Suzanne Honour.
Cinquain Poems
Three different formats for writing cinquains, described and illustrated.
An exploration by Aaron Toleos of the American cinquain as popularized by Adelaide Crapsey. Includes cinquains by Toleos as well as the 28 cinquains by Crapsey included in the second edition of "Verse." Also includes the theory and history of the American cinquain.
An online community of cinquain poets who meet in an open membership e-list on Yahoo!Groups.
Personality Quiz - What Poetry Form Am I?
A cinquain that describes the "personality" of a cinquain. With html code for transferring the cinquain to your site and links to "personality quizzes" for other poetic forms.
Poetic Form: Cinquain
An explanation of the form, with examples earlier than those of Crapsey, from the Academy of American Poets.
Some "fun" examples of the cinquain that can be used to introduce students to short poetic forms.
University of Rochester Library: The Adelaide Crapsey Papers, 1978-1934
A short biography of Adelaide Crapsey; catalogue of papers, scrapbooks, correspondence, and manuscripts house at UR Library's Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. Appropriate resource for scholars.
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