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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry French Verse A Cinquain is any poem or stanza in 5 lines. The words cinquain, quintain, quintet are interchangeable, French, Latin and Italian. There are a multitude of stanzaic forms that use 5 lines as a frame. Some of the more popular are the French traditional Cinquain, the American Cinquain, sometimes called the Crapsey Cinquain and the Spanish Quintilla The traditional French Cinquain of medieval French origin, dates from the 11th century. In the 19th century it was revived by Victor Hugo. The elements of the Traditional French Cinquain