I have just discovered something horrible!

I have been writing poems called Cinquains, the way I was showed in high school, and here at this definition site, but have discovered that is not the correct way to write them!

embarrassed ethinic woman






Apparently the word count of 1, 2, 3, 4, 1 is a didactic version of the form. The way that its creator Adelaide Crapsey originally wrote them is in a syllabic pattern of 2 / 4 / 6 / 8 / 2.

I am just plain horrified because I have written 14 cinquains but none of them are in true form! And to add to the horror I have even written these ‘cinquains’ on inside of cards I have given to loved ones! Which makes this one of the few times I am glad my family doesn’t read my blog.

I have decided to make this an opportunity, and post my poems as I fix them, here on my blog. Because I will edit these in my spare time, and it may take me weeks to get it right, I am not going to pick a certain day to post them. I am just going to post them when I feel they are correct/finished. So be on the lookout for random “Cinquain” posts. I hope to get started soon. I will post my original cinquain and then the Adelaide version.


I found out something interesting as well.  Cinquain was born out of Adelaide’s fascination with Haiku and Tanka. It is so interesting that I would like these forms and find out later that they are kind of related. She also wrote some of the first American Tanka, without meaning to. You can learn more about her at Cinquain.org. (Thank God for this site, now I know the history and the truth!)

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about all of this.


7 thoughts on “Horror!

  1. Pingback: 2, 4, 6, 8, Who do we appreciate?! | Failing at Haiku

  2. Okaaaay! I am not a stickler on rules when it comes to haiku or tanka, because it started out in another language, but I like to try to get it right when the form originated in English. Thanks Melody!


  3. No horror allowed in a learning moment! (You have to trust me on that, and trust my teaching experience!) Thank you for the great info – I sure am not up on all the different forms of poetry myself. AND – just write what you want. And learn and experiment. But – no horror allowed!!


  4. Oh, I am SO smiling at you–you sound like me, taking things so seriously and wanting your writing to be perfect. But you know what? The world is not in danger of ending–and YOU ARE TERRIFIC! Thanks for the info, though–I’m a fan of haiku and tanka, and will check out this cinquain business! God bless you Big–love, Caddo


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