A  cinquain poem has five lines. The word comes from the French cinq, which means five.  The best-known form of cinquain poetry was created in the early 1900s by

a poet named Adelaide Crapsey. These cinquains are similar to haiku in that the rules for writing them are based on syllables.


Cinquain poems have the following pattern:  (and this is the pattern I've followed)









      Line 1 - 2 syllables

      Line 2 - 4 syllables

      Line 3 - 6 syllables

      Line 4 - 8 syllables

      Line 5 - 2 syllables



An alternate version of the cinquain poem, often called a “word cinquain” is based on words, instead of syllables. “Word cinquains” have the following pattern:


    Line 1 - 1 word

    Line 2 - 2 words

    Line 3 - 3 words

    Line 4 - 4 words

    Line 5 - 1 word


There are no specific rules about writing a cinquain other than that it must have five lines and the correct syllable count (or, if writing a word cinquain, the correct word count).  


By Josie Whitehead

Fresh air,


Touching my cheek,


Whispering through the trees,


Carrying your song in the clouds,


Soft wind.




Copyright 2011


Our Language Poem Index Main Poetry Index Exploring Form Meet Josie Red Rose Cinquain Cool Breeze Cinquain

                 RED ROSE


                               (A cinquain)


                          By Josie Whitehead


                                   True hue,

                            Touching my heart;

                         Filling me with such joy.

              I am drawn to your sweet fragrance.

                                 Sweet bloom.