Search Results for: cinquain swirl

Cinquain Swirl

  • Cinquain Swirl is an invented verse form based on 2 or more Crapsey Cinquains syllable count written without breaks using L5 of each cinquain as L1 of the next cinquain. When centered on the page the lines form a swirling effect.
    • Syllable count is 2-4-6-8-2-4-6-8-2-4-6-8-2 etc. It can be written in any number of lines that complete the 2-4-6-8-2 cycle.
    • At Poet’s Garrett L1 of the first cinquain is repeated as the 2 syllable line similar to a refrain throughout the poem. 2-4-6-8-2-4-6-8-2 It can be written in any number of lines that complete the 2-4-6-8-2-4-6-8-2 cycle.
In Cinquain Swirl and Cinquain Chain Poems are American style poems with French names.
In a Cinquain Swirl, Cinquain poems with a 2-4-6-8-2 syllable beat are melted together to form a longer poem, and the 2 syllable beat is repeated as the refrain, 2R-4-6-8-2R-4-6-8-2R-4-6-8-2R.
In a Cinquain Chain, Cinquain poems are linked together to form a longer poem, and the 2 syllable beat is repeated as the refrain in all the 2 beats lines, 2R-4-6-8-2R-2R-4-6-8-2R-2R-4-6-8-2R, or as the first and last line of the poem with the 2 beat lines between Cinquain repeated, 2R1-4-6-8-2R2-2R2-4-6-8-2R3-2R3-4-6-8-2R1.
Both, Cinquain Swirls and Cinquain Chains may or may not have rhyme. They must be at least 2 Cinquain long, but they have no limit to the number of Cinquain used. The examples below are of 3 Cinquain in length.
Examples: by Frank G. Poe, Jr.
My Blog Swirl                                                My Blog Chain
Follow,                                                            Follow,
You’re hypnotized.                                         You’re hypnotized.
You will follow my blog.                               You will follow my blog.
Click on follow; you will follow.                  Click on follow; you will follow.
Follow,                                                            You must,
You must tell friends.                                    You must,
You cannot imagine                                       You must tell friends.
Life without following my blog.                    You cannot imagine
Follow                                                             Life without following my blog.
You need my blog.                                         You need,
Soon, you will awaken.                                  You need,
You will not remember this poem.                You need my blog.
Follow…                                                         Soon, you will awaken.
.                                                                       You will not remember this poem.
.                                                                       Follow…
Well …After much exploration to try to iron out the differences above, I found many cinquain swirls written without any refrain at all.  So my specifications shall state that the Cinquain Swirl is an aggregation of Crapsey Cinquains strung together omitting the two syllable Line 5, except for the poems ending line.
Save the refrain for the Cinquain Chain.   (If you like.)
2, 4, 6, 8, 2, 4, 6, 8, 2, 4, 6, 8, 2
My Example
Choose Happy
not a single
reason joy needs to wait,
I’ll use this and every season
 up high my plate.
Stack it up with cheer then
Grinning; spread it- spread it all around.
 lies our path to
winning,  giving gloom no
ground. Steer your bark with fear
behind you putting hope now in
(c) Lawrencealot – February 20, 2014

Butterfly Cinquain

The Butterfly Cinquain isn’t a cinquain at all:it is a nonostich (9 lines)and uses the syllable count of the Crapsey Cinquain and then reverses it, therefore the misnomer.
The Butterfly Cinquain is:
○ 9 line poem.
○ syllabic, 2/4/6/8/2/8/6/4/2 syllables per line. 
Thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the above.
My Sample poem
Plastic Trees     (Butterfly Cinquain)
Don’t like
fake plastic trees.
When one sets out to trick
the senses of someone they like
they ought
to learn to fake sincerity,
with honesty the best
the plastic should
be real.
© Lawrencealot –  November 16, 2014


Mirror Cinquain

  • The Mirror Cinquain is:
    • decastich (a poem of 10 lines)
    • syllabic, 2/4/6/8/2/2/8/6/4/2 syllables per line.
    • unrhymed.
    • titled.
This is a mixture of the standard Cinquain and a Reverse Cinquain. Basically a standard followed by a reversed.
So, using the usual syllable counting convention, a mirror cinquain = 2,4,6,8,2 blank line 2,8,6,4,2 syllables. This pattern repeats for longer mirror sequences.
Example Poem
Soulful Husbandry    (Mirror Cinquain)
Two wolves
lives in each of
us to make us what we
are, though we train them how to serve
our goals.
They both
compete to make us what we are.
So train them well and choose
the wolf that you
will feed.
© Lawrencealot – February 20, 2014

Cinquain Chain

  • Cinquain Chain or Corona of Cinquains is stanzaic invented verse made up of a series of Crapsey Cinquains linked in a chain or corona by the last line of each cinquain repeated as the first line of the next cinquain.
My Example poem
You Can Call Me, Darling    (Cinquain Chain)
Once we’ve
come to know each
other and shared a meal
or drink, a wink, or even more
a kiss,
a kiss
even on the cheek,
or put each other down
in fun with social repartee
well then …
well then
you might call me
darling and I’d not flinch.
It’s a sweet affectation, beats
Hey you!
Hey you
works, and implies
perhaps you know me not
yet by name and darling implies
much more.
Much more-
yet everyone
is your darling, even those I know
are rude and lacking very much
to like.
To like
me and call me
darling has it’s merits.
Do you want to call me darling?
Call me.
© Lawrencealot – February 20 2014


Structure, Metrical Requirement, Stanzaic
A poem of five cinquains.
And repeat four more times.
Rhythm/Stanza Length:
Line/Poem Length:
See Also:
My thanks to Charles L. Weatherford for the above.
My example poem
Within the Bounds?      (Cinq-Cinquain)
of repeating
some rhymes in every verse
I know I can but should I now
Pray tell?
doubts here would make it worse,
I’ll proceed- rhyming anyhow.
Oh hell.
while I’m beating
time, now seems so perverse,
although the rules don’t disallow
Oh well.
from a fleeting
desire to intersperse
some lyricism here and now
to quell
doubts competing
that I’m cheating where terse
is sought and I use rhyme somehow
as well.
© Lawrencealot – February 16, 2014
I think this poems proves you ought not so something
Just because you can.

Didactic cinquain

A Didactic cinquain is sometimes used by school teachers to teach grammar, is as follows:
Line 1: Noun
Line 2: Description of Noun
Line 3: Action
Line 4: Feeling or Effect
Line 5: Synonym of the initial noun
An alternate version of the cinquain poem, often called a “word cinquain” is based on words, instead of syllables. “Word cinquains” have the following pattern:
Line 1 1 word
Line 2 2 words
Line 3 3 words
Line 4 4 words
Line 5 1 word
Line 1 — a noun (a word that refers to a thing, such as apple or book or elephant).
Line 2 — two adjectives, or describing words, that tell the reader about that thing.
Line 3 — three words ending in -ing that are related to the thing, maybe saying what it does.
Line 4 — a four-word phrase (group of words) about the thing, or about the way it makes you feel.
Line 5 — another noun that is a synonym of (means the same as) the noun in line 1, or else is a different way of looking at that thing.
Pasted from <>
My Example
Butch      (Didactic Cinquain)
solid, sturdy
snorting, panting, watching
always ready to be faithful
© Lawrencealot – February 16, 2014


(Standard) Cinquain
The cinquain, also known as a quintain or quintet, is a poem or stanza composed of 5 lines. Examples of cinquains can be found in many European languages, and the origin of the form dates back to medieval French poetry.
The most common cinquains in English follow a rhyme scheme of ababb, abaab or abccb. Sixteenth and seventeenth-century poets such as Sir Philip Sidney, George HerbertEdmund Waller, and John Donne frequently employed the form, creating numerous variations.
Other examples of the form include “To Helen” by Edgar Allen Poe, which begins:
Helen, thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicean barks of yore,
That gently, o’er a perfumed sea,
The weary, way-worn wanderer bore
To his own native shore.
A Visual Template:
Rhyme optional with Crapsey cinquain
Crapsey cinquain
American poet Adelaide Crapsey invented the modern form,[2] inspired by Japanese haiku and tanka.[3][4] In her 1915 collection titled Verse, published one year after her death, Crapsey included 28 cinquains.[5]
Crapsey’s cinquains utilized an increasing syllable count in the first four lines, namely two in the first, four in the second, six in the third, and eight in the fourth, before returning to two syllables on the last line. In addition, though little emphasized by critics, each line in the majority of Crapsey cinquains has a fixed number of stressed syllables, as well, following the pattern one, two, three, four, one.[citation needed] The most common metrical foot in her twenty-eight published examples is the iamb, though this is not exclusive. Lines generally do not rhyme. In contrast to the Eastern forms upon which she based them, Crapsey always titled her cinquains, effectively utilizing the title as a sixth line.
The form is illustrated by Crapsey’s “November Night”:[6]
With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break from the trees
And fall.
The Crapsey cinquain has subsequently seen a number of variations by modern poets, including:
Reverse cinquain
a form with one 5-line stanza in a syllabic pattern of two, eight, six, four, two.
Mirror cinquain
a form with two 5-line stanzas consisting of a cinquain followed by a reverse cinquain.
Butterfly cinquain
a nine-line syllabic form with the pattern two, four, six, eight, two, eight, six, four, two.
Crown cinquain
a sequence of five cinquain stanzas functioning to construct one larger poem.
Garland cinquain
a series of six cinquains in which the last is formed of lines from the preceding five, typically line one from stanza one, line two from stanza two, and so on.
Another form,  Called a Didactic cinquain, sometimes used by school teachers to teach grammar, is as follows:
Line 1: Noun
Line 2: Description of Noun
Line 3: Action
Line 4: Feeling or Effect
Line 5: Synonym of the initial noun


  • The Cinquetun (spelled Cinquetin in The Study and Writing of Poetry by Wauneta Hackleman) appears to be an invented verse form that is a longer version of the Crapsey Cinquain. It kind of defeats the purpose of the compactness of the original form, but then allows for broader images and an even meter. This verse form was created by E. Ernest Murrell.The Cinquetun is:
    • a hexastich, a poem in 6 lines.
    • syllabic, lines of  8/6/10/6/8/2 syllables each.
    • rhymed, rhyme scheme axbaxb, x being unrhymed.
My Thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful resource at PMO
My Example Poem
Why This?     (Cinquetin)
For those who wish to hide their rime
the cinquetin should do.
All twice-removed they share not a line-length.
Asymmetry’s no crime
but humans don’t consider it
a strength.
© Lawrencealot – March 13, 2013
Visual Template

The Balance

  • The Balance attempts to create an ebb and flow rhythm. The rhythm is created by a specific syllabic designation per line as well as an intricate rhyme scheme. This verse form was created by Viola Berg.
  • The Balance is:
    • stanzaic, framed in 4 cinquains. The patterns of the cinquains change from stanza to stanza.
    • syllabic,
      stanza 1 =10-8-6-4-2 syllables.
      stanza 2 =2-4-6-8-10 syllables
      stanza 3 =10-8-6-4-2 syllables
      stanza 4 = 2-4-6-8-10 syllables
    • rhymed, rhyme scheme Abcde edcba abcde edcbA. (AbcdeedcbaabcdeedcbA)
    • composed with a refrain, the 1st line of the poem is repeated as the last line.
    • Short Balance by Judi Van Gorder
    • Centered on the page the words resonate
      with sounds of fingers striking
      the computer keyboard.
      Tapping into
      my muse.Good news,
      the verse in due
      time takes shape, strikes a chord
      without inspiration spiking.
      Centered on the page the words resonate.

Pasted from

My Thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful resource at PMO

Specifications restated:
A poem of 20 lines, centered on the page
Syllabic: 10/8/6/5/2 2/4/6/8/10 10/8/6/4/2 2/4/6/8/10
 Rhymed, rhyme scheme Abcde edcba abcde edcbA.
My Sample Poem
Fish wrap is Functional    (The Balance)
The paper tells of babies being born,
while businesses are formed and fold,
and folks grow old and die,
while other’s kill
or cheat
to beat
other’s for thrill
or just because they’re high.
The earth’s getting too hot or cold;
associations steer and hold in scorn
those men who break from ranks and won’t adorn
concepts as right, because they’re old.
Opinions satisfy,
candidates will
just tweet
or greet
with smarmy skill
while business goes awry
and we the sheeple, are controlled.
The paper tells of babies being born.
© Lawrencealot – March 7, 2014
Visual Template
The Balance

Oddquain Butterfly

Oddquain is a short, usually unrhymed poem consisting of seventeen syllables distributed 1/3/5/7/1 in 5 lines, developed by Glenda L. Hand.
Oddquain variations:
oddquain sequences – poems made up of oddquain stanzas
crown oddquains – a five stanza oddquain sequence
reverse oddquains – a oddquain with a reverse syllable pattern of 1/7/5/3/1
mirror oddquains – a two stanza oddquain sequence of the pattern 1/3/5/7/1 1/7/5/3/1
oddquain butterflies – a “merged mirror oddquain” where the two stanzas of a mirror oddquain are merged together, one of the middle 1 syllable lines is dropped, resulting in one nine line stanza of the form 1/3/5/7/1/7/5/3/1.
Please note that a oddquain butterfly is not a “oddquain” because it doesn’t have five lines, but it is “butterfly” made up of two oddquains that were merged together into one poem.
Thanks to Shadow Poetry for the above.
I have selected only the Mirror Oddquain here, to represent the oddquain series, simply to introduce a cousin into the Cinquain family tree.


My example poem.
This is Odd
odd because
the numbers are not
even, though that’s not even
Even even numbers can
at times strike me odd
I swear to
© Lawrencealot – February 21, 2014