For a fully comprehensive look at the Eintou verse form, please check Shakespearnoir, where much of my information came from. 

The Eintou is an African American poetry form consisting seven lines with a total of 32 syllables or words. The term Eintou is West African for “pearl” as in pearls of wisdom, and often the Eintou imparts these pearls in heightened language.

The Eintou developed as a means for African American poetic forms to take their place in the forefront of American poetry. Many African American poetic scholars and critics often attempted to mimic Euro-American forms as a means of demonstrating poetic expertise, or stood by “free-verse” as an African American form. It was rare to see serious examination of African American poetic forms; in fact most critics regarded African American poetry as “formless” or “mimicking.” 

The 2-4-6-8-6-4-2 structure of the Eintou is crucial in terms of African and African American philosophy. Life is a cycle. Everything returns to that from which it originates. The concept of a pearl, which is a sphere, and the cyclic nature of the Eintou’s structure capture this. The life of the Eintou begins with two syllables or words, expands as though growing and then returns to two syllables or words. In this fashion the Eintou never escapes its beginnings or history. It flows from, through, and ultimately returns to that from which it came.


Line 1 – 2 words/syllables
Line 2 – 4 words/syllables
Line 3 – 6 words/syllables
Line 4 – 8 words/syllables
Line 5 – 6 words/syllables
Line 6 – 4 words/syllables
Line 7 – 2 words/syllables

Although I’ve seen some examples that use a word count instead of a syllable count, I stuck to the syllable count in my examples:

I wish
Upon a star
Like the cricket advised
Pinocchio, Geppetto’s son.
But life’s no fairy tale,
My wishes don’t
Come true.

The words
Escape from me
Spilling onto the page
Where they find a life of their own
Leaving me far behind
Stumbling to
Catch up.

Pasted from http://randomwriterlythoughts.blogspot.com/2010/08/eintou.html
My thanks to Carol R Ware for the above contribution to the poetry community.

My example

Good Morning, Again (Eintou)

Get up
you lazy-bones.
Today beckons to you.
Put a smile on many faces.
Tomorrow I will say,
“You lazy-bones
Get up.”

© Lawrencealot – December 8, 2014