How to Write a Cinquain

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). However, as with haiku, there are many suggestions for writing a good cinquain. Most poets feel that it is better to stick with concrete objects than with abstract ideas (“My Dog” rather than “Happiness”). It is also true that mixing the emphasis of the syllables (or words) will create a stronger effect than writing a string of words with similar lengths and emphasis. Other poetic devices such as assonance and alliteration can be used to help make your cinquain poem memorable. Organizing the ideas in your cinquain to follow the order below is another suggestion:

  • Title
  • Description of the title
  • Some action about the title
  • Feeling about the title
  • Synonym (similar word) for title

Cinquain Method One

Line 1 -  one word for the topicic
Line 2 -  2 words to describes your topic 
Line 3 -  3 words that describes the actions relating to your topic 
Line 4 - 4 words that describes the feelings relating to your topic 
Line 5 - one word that is another name for your topic

Cinquain Method Two

Line 1 - two syllables
Line 2 - four syllables
Line 3 - six syllables
Line 4 - eight syllables
Line 5 - two syllables

Excerpts from: http://www.abcteach.com/free/h/howto_cinquain.pdf