The traditional cinquain is based on a syllable count.

  • line 1 – 2 syllables
  • line 2 – 4 syllables
  • line 3 – 6 syllables
  • line 4 – 8 syllables
  • line 5 – 2 syllables

The modern cinquain is based on a specific number of words and their functions.

  • line 1 – one word (noun) a title or name of the subject
  • line 2 – two words (adjectives) describing the subject
  • line 3 – three words (verbs) describing an action related to the subject
  • line 4 – four words (adjectives) describing a feeling about the subject, or a complete (four word) sentence
  • line 5 – one word referring back to the subject of the poem

Here is an example  of a modern cinquain from a little girl of my household:


Cute, pretty,

Smiling, sleeping, laughing,

Soft, warm, squishy, delightful,




I have written a …. rebuttal… if you will,  in the traditional style of the syllable count.  Of course, I love our baby to bits, so it’s tongue in cheek…..kind of  😉


long, endless nights

waking, crying, feeding

longing for that blessed relief:

sweet dreams!


If you decide to try your hand at writing a cinquain;

1. Post it on your blog

2. Leave a comment here with a link to the post

3. Check the links in the comments, and explore what creative genius is out there!

If you don’t have a blog,  you can leave your cinquain in the comments here: we’ll still get to enjoy it.

Come, friends, dazzle me with your lyrical powers! ( I know you can do it  😀 )