The Mighty Cinquain

The Poet, Adelaide Crapsey, is best remembered for creating the cinquain. Crapsey (perhaps unfortunately named) was heavily inspired by the Japanese forms of poetry: haiku and tanka.

Much like the haiku, cinquains usually contain vivid imagery and are used to convey a certain emotion to the reader.

In 1915, Crapsey published a collection of poems called Verse. The book contained twenty-eight Cinquains, some of which are considered some of Adelaide Crapsey’s best work. If you want to see those, here’s a link for ya!

The cinquain has a relatively simple structure which, much like a haiku, relies on a number of syllables and lines.

First line: two syllables

Second line: four syllables

Third line: six syllables

Fourth line: eight syllables

Fifth line: two syllables

Crapsey usually wrote her cinquains in iambic metre, but there is no requirement to do so.

So I thought I’d have another crack at writing a cinquain, which is something I used to do as a Saturday feature when I started blogging but have neglected to do lately.

My Resting Place

In your
Guardian arms
Of sinew and solid strength
I find myself safe, but for a

Thanks for reading.

As always, feel free to leave a comment below! I love a good chat.

New posts every Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9 pm GMT.


8 thoughts on “The Mighty Cinquain

  1. A beautiful form, I will have to try it. I enjoyed your example, which spoke to me of resting in the arms of God. I got to line 4 and wondered how you would bring it to a close in just two syllables… to my delight, the ending was a well-executed turn/twist that cast the whole poem in a new light. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It does seem Adelaide would have changed her last name, huh? I recently discovered via DNA am 90% British, so maybe we are ‘cousins’ (big smile). Here is Crapsey form:

    long, lost hasty lovers
    doomed to pay the price of sinning

    Liked by 1 person


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s