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Poetry Magnum Opus

night skies (Garland Cinquain)


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night skies



is encouraged

by nature’s lights

in the inky black




forever anchored

not free until

they burn themselves out,




of emotion

in both souls

cause minds to marry;




moon illuminated,

the slightest slice

shines just softly enough,




did not

realize deep space

stares into our eyes,




forever anchored

in both souls,

shines just softly enough,




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OOOOOh - Cool!

Love this!

Always liked the simplicity of the cinquain, but have not seen it done as a "garland". What is the history of this string-of-pearls?

I just did a poetry retreat where everybody brings a program or writing exercise to do. This goes on my list of exercises to do at the next one.

Even though I have not seen this done before, clearly, you have done it well!

Care to tell us how you started this or how you developed the sequence? Admirers want to know.

Thanks for posting this.

from the black desert

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Quite beautiful. Moving artistry. Yeah.

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I admire the use of bold characters, which create a poem within the poem.

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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I agree with Bren.. a poem within a poem. Your unusual formatting is deceptively simple yet winds the abstract (for love can mean different things to different folk) and the astral into a tangible plait of reason. G.

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Thanks to all who read and commented. I wrote this a couple years ago, as an exercise, in fact, GK.


This comes straight from the reference section on this site, for which it appears, we can mostly thank Tink.


"Garland of Cinquains is a series of 6 Crapsey Cinquains with the 6th and last cinquain made up of lines from the previous cinquains. L1 of the poem is L1 stanza 6, L2 of the 2nd stanza is L2 of the stanza 6, L3 of the third stanza is L3 of the stanza 6 etc."


It can be done with either word or syllabic counts and each cinquain should be about the same thing. I have zero history on this, but I find form poetry both an annoyance and a challenge, so once in awhile I give it a shot with something new. Have been considering trying another.

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Mmmm, form AND content -- what a rich piece of imagery.

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David W. Parsley

A fascinating form, MQ, and equally fascinating execution! It "shines just softly enough." This exploration of fixed form brings a tautness to your work that I very much like. And I like the originality of expression.



- Dave

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Revisiting the magnetism of this "cinquain," mainly for the content which is sometimes missing--to me--in "form" poetry, a novice's view. I understand the value of discipline imposed by the form, as with haiku, but generally eschew rhyming and other devices, unless the forms become a necessary part of the images or other attributes. Credit my ignorance in your judgment of my thoughts. This particular poem fits my admittedly warped opinions, as the form lends a lyrical quality that is missing in my own efforts. My southern teacher insisted we memorize "Song of the Chattahoochee," by favored local poet, Sidney Lanier, the poem's entire lyrical sounds, mood and images brought to life through the rhyming scheme. In this emotional poem, the repetition and bringing back together, add a Gestalt quality. You're right: I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. ;)

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