There are two formulas for writing cinquain poems. One formula is for the number of syllables per line, and the other formula is for the types of words, actions, and feelings to incorporate into the poems.
- Line 1 – two syllables
- Line 2 – four syllables
- Line 3 – six syllables
- Line 4 – eight syllables
- Line 5 – two syllables
Though I did not strictly adhere to this second formula, I kept it top of mind when writing my cinquain poems.
- Line 1 – one word for topic
- Line 2 – two words to describe the topic
- Line 3 – three words to describe actions relating to the topic
- Line 4 – words that describe feelings relating to the topic
- Line 5 – one word that is another word for the topic [source]
Here are two cinquain poems I have authored:
scratch the blackboard.
Our skin crawls and inverts.
So shrill! The noise cracks window glass.
* * * * *
Were he to know my heart,
would he reciprocate or not?
* * * * *
There are many variations on cinquain poems. Choose a style that suits you.