The American poet Adelaide Crapsey（18781914）, influenced by the Japanese haiku
and tanka, invented a special variation of cinquain. It is a simple poem of five-lines without
rhyme. The line lengths are varied, respectively being two syllables in the first line, four
in the second, six in the third, eight in the fourth, and two in the fifth. Following is an
example by Adelaide Crapsey:
Three silent things:
The falling snow...the hour
Before the dawn...the mouth of one
There have appeared many variations of cinquain since its invention by Adelaide Crapsey.
Here are introduced two of the modern forms along with examples.
Cinquain Form 1
Dripping, slurping, smacking
So messy to eat
Falling, dancing, drifting
Covering everything it touches
Imposing, protecting, watching
Symbolizes wealth and power
From the examples above, we come to see that, instead of incorporating stress and syllables, It uses words. Such form of cinquain is very popular because of its simplicity.
The first line is one word which serves as the title of the poem; the second line contains two
words which are adjectives that describe the title; the third line has three words that tell
the reader more about the subject of the poem or shows action, and many times these words
are gerunds that end with “ing”; the fourth line has four words that show emotions about the subject of the poem and may be individual words or a phrase; the fifth line is one word that
is a synonym of the title or is very similar to it.
Teasing, shouting, laughing
Friend and enemy too
Week in,week out
Cinquain Form 2
Flipping, twirling, jumping
They make me laugh
Shining, burning, exploding
It gives life to everything
Waddling, swimming, eating
They are playing in the water
This form is just slightly different from the first form in that the fourth line is a complete
sentence and may have more than four words.
The first line is one word. The second line contains two adjectives. The third line has three words ending in “ing”. The fourth line has four or more words that make a complete sentence. The fifth line is one word.
Cinquains are particularly vivid in their imagery, and are meant to convey a certain mood or