#Cinquain Poetry: Reach Your Destination with Maps

Map out your thoughts about maps, or borrow mine then write a cinquain with me. See where your mind travels.

#OneWordChallenge – nothing

Examining the Topic

We take maps for granted – shame on us. Many of us barely remember how to read a map. We follow along with our car on the dashboard which is always going straight up, no matter what the direction. We check out a location on the map by spinning our cursor so that we can go on a virtual tour which includes street names imprinted on the roads.

Wiki how

Writing the Poem

Who knew there were so many styles of syllabic Japanese poetry? Even though I gave a cursory nod to cinquain and haiku poetry when I taught fourth grade, all I remember is that haikus had something to do with nature.

There’s more to it. Some forms work well with emotions, some with nature. I can’t keep them all straight in my mind.

When I saw Tuesday’s prompt of “Maps,” I panicked. Definitely no emotions in a map for me unless I’m lost. Then I’m angry. There’s no way I can go down that road, Siri. It’s one way and cars are coming! Quick pull into a parking lot! (That happened to me at night in South Bend, Indiana, where I’d never been, late at night – like around 8:00 pm, with my frantic brother in the passenger seat.)

They are not an act of nature, although hurricane and other weather maps chart acts of nature. Firemaps pinpoint the fires.

HELP!

Colleen gave me some guidance, so I’m sharing it with you, for those of you who are new aficionados like I am.

Marsha, I would begin with a form that appeals to you the most. The cinquain would be a good one to start with. The rules are more forgiving than the Japanese forms. Work with this form for a couple of weeks. Make the last line of your cinquain the most important. This is where you change your focus away from the drama of the first four lines. That last line should be a surprise. To begin, try making a list of the things that the word “maps” make you think of. You know, like traveling, unknown journeys, etc. Then, work with your syllables on https://www.howmanysyllables.com/words/finally, click the workshop tab. The program counts the syllables for you. (I use my fingers, but we won’t go there.) Let me know how you are getting along. ❤

Colleen Chesebro

Westward

Eighteen- O – Four

Hand drawn map, squiggly lines

Imagine Lewis and Clark with

Nothing

Dirt trails

End at raging river, no bridge 

Cliff ahead, make U-turn

Imagine It

Siri

Cinquain & Reverse Cinquain = a Mirror Cinquain

Lewis and Clark

Marsha’s Map Brainstorm

Maps – brainstorm – writing – outline, road maps, floor plans, old maps, land ownership, businesses, topography, squiggly lines, drawing, hand-drawn, satellite, car zooming down road taking pictures, war map, Google, Bing, 3 D, MapQuest, cartography, charting location, live traffic, dynamic imagery, arrival time,

Colleen’s Cinquain Cheat Sheet

CINQUAIN: A cinquain is a form of shape poetry that looks great centered on the page. The required syllables needed for each line give it a unique shape. The cinquain (aka the quintain or the quintet) is a poem or stanza of five lines.

The Crapsey cinquain is a five-line, non-rhyming poem featuring a syllable structure of 2/4/6/8/2. Choose words that create drama which builds into the fourth line. Remember the turn occurs on line five, the most important line. This is where you change your focus away from the drama in some interesting way. Surprise your readers!

The Crapsey cinquain has seen several variations by modern poets, including:

VariationDescription
Reverse cinquaina form with one 5-line stanza in a syllabic pattern of two, eight, six, four, two.
Mirror cinquaina form with two 5-line stanzas consisting of a cinquain followed by a reverse cinquain.
Butterfly cinquaina nine-line syllabic form with the pattern two, four, six, eight, two, eight, six, four, two.
Crown cinquaina sequence of five cinquain stanzas functioning to construct one larger poem.
Garland cinquaina series of six cinquains in which the last is formed of lines from the preceding five, typically line one from stanza one, line two from stanza two, and so on.

Related Posts

Contact Me

If you know of someone who hosts a writing or photo challenge and would like to participate in my interview series on challenge hosts, feel free to email me at tchistorygal@gmail.com.