You've heard of the form cinquain. Do you know who created it? A woman named Adelaide Crapsey. Crapsey lived a short life of 36 years, from 1878 to 1914. Much of her writing deals with the subject of death, but this lovely cinquain can be read simply as a description of what happens at this time of year.
With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp'd, break from the trees
If you'd like to try a cinquain of your own, here are the simple "rules":
1. five lines
3. the first and fifth lines have 2 syllables; the second has 4, the third has 6, and the fourth has 8 syllables
4. usually with an iambic cadence
In elementary schools cinquain are often taught with this added element:
1. line one contains the subject name (noun)
2. line two is a description (adjective/s)
3. line three is actions (three words ending in "ing")
4. line four is additional description (a simple phrase)
5. line five is another name for the subject (noun)
Here's an example:
strutting, flapping, crowing
boss of all the barnyard chickens
© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved
It's a good lesson on parts of speech, but it makes for a lousy poem!
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