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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry The Frame V. Five Line Construction The Cinquain, Quintain, and Quintet are terms which are French, Latin, and Italian for any five-line poetic thought unit or stanza. These terms are synonymous and infer that the unit is written adjacent to other stanzas. "Cinquain" is the word most commonly used. The terms can also refer to a stand-alone five line poem. However, Pentastich is technically the term reserved for a stand-alone five line poem. Five line stanzas or poems are much less popular in English poetry than the couplet, tercet, and quatrain. Asian poetry uses five line poetic units extensively. There could be some confusion when using the term cinquain since beside the generic definition, there is a popular verse form created by American poet, Adelaide Crapsey which she named simply the "Cinquain". Some call it the Crapsey Cinquain, which I use in this forum to distinguish it from all other generic cinquains. There is also a much older French form referred to simply as the "Cinquain" which was recreated and popularized by Victor Hugo in the 19th century. For clarity, I refer to it as the Traditional Cinquain in the style of Victor Hugo. I have included the various five-line stanzas in the forums for their nation of origin. Some of the more popular are: Arkaham Ballad Bob and Wheel Clogyrnach Crapsey Cinquain English Quintet Envelope Quintet Lira Limerick Madsong Stanza Quintilla Flamenca or Seguidilla Gitana Sicilian Quintet Tanka Cinquain - Traditional Waka Ya Du
Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry English Verse The English Quintet (sometimes called English Quintain) is a rhymed 5 line stanza or poem. There is no English word for a 5 lines of verse therefore they borrowed the Italian word quintet. Up until the 19th century English poetry was pretty much built on the couplet and quatrain. The English version of the quintet arrived at a time when most English poetry was still being written in iambic pentameter. The elements of the English Quintet are: stanzaic, written in any number of quintets (5 line stanzas). metered, most commonly iambic pentameter, although meter is optional. rhymed, rhyme scheme ababb, cdcdd etc. The Book by Judi Van Gorder The edges worn, blue dye rubbed white with one short thread hanging loose from the bottom and once white pages turned vanilla dun, the story set in Maine, a chilly autumn when weather moves to wool from cool cotton. A place familiar, visited before, oh not for real, through words upon the page read over many times with zeal, therefore a haven, an escape where I disengage from every day events, a pilgrimage.