Colleen’s 2020 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 171, #SpecificForm


March is the first month to feature five Tuesdays. So, this is our first chance to work with a specific syllabic poetry form. Please only write your poetry in the specific form for this week. Thanks.

This week’s form is:

The Cinquain & It’s Variations, (excluding the Tanka)

Here’s a quick review of the Cinquain forms:

CINQUAIN: A cinquain is a form of shape poetry and is always 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. 

ALSO: Check out the Cinquain variations listed here: Cinquain-Wikipedia (See below):

The Crapsey cinquain has subsequently seen a number of variations by modern poets, including:

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.

Don’t forget to try these Other Cinquains Variations:

(Skip the Tanka)

Tankais a five-line form of unrhymed Japanese poetry, totalling 31 moras structured in a 5-7-5-7-7 pattern.
Tetractysis a five-line poem of 20 syllables with a title, arranged in the following order: 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, with each line standing as a phrase on its own. It can be inverted, doubled, etc. and was created by English poet Ray Stebbings.
Lanterneis an untitled five line quintain verse with a syllabic pattern of 1, 2, 3, 4, 1. Each line is usually able to stand on its own.

PLEASE support the other poets by visiting blogs and leaving comments. Peer reviews help poets perfect their writing craft. Remember… sharing is caring.

Here are some great sites that will help you write your poetry and count syllables 

This site even has a link so you can install the extension on Google Chrome.

For Synonyms and Antonyms. When your word has too many syllables, find one that works.

Find out how many syllables each word has. I use this site to compose my poems. Click on the “Workshop” tab, then cut and paste your poetry into the box. Click the Count Syllables button on the button. This site does the hard work for you.

I don't get it


Every Tuesday I’ll post the challenge early enough so everyone can see it. Remember, there will be no recap.

The rules are simple. Write your Cinquain poetry on your blog.

Do a link-back by placing the HTTPS:// address of the challenge post into your post. ALSO, please copy your poem and add it to the comments. If you created a Haiga, let us know in the comments with a link to your post. Now, all of the poetry ends up on the challenge post in one place.

Follow the schedule listed below:

Don't forget

I will visit your blog, comment, and TWEET your POETRY. If you add these hashtags to the post TITLE on your blog (depending on which poetry form you use) your poetrymay be viewed more often on Twitter:

#Haiku, #Senryu, #Haiga, #Gogyohka, #Tanka, #TankaProse, #micropoetry, #poetry, #5lines, #Haibun, #Prose, #CinquainPoetry, #Etheree, #Nonet, #Shadorma

Success! You're on the list.

Now, have fun and write some Cinquain poetry!


  1. Hi Colleen,
    Here’s my entry for this week.

    it’s spring
    the sprint is on
    peony shoots rise up
    garden is coming alive, now
    bold in its infinite wonder
    flaunting its ugly side
    agile microbe –
    a plague

    Pat R


    1. And, like all the rules I’m researching, some say we must center on the page and others say nothing about it. Because Cinquain is also called shape poetry, I think the belief is that centering is visually more pleasing. I should take that phrase out of the instructions until I can verify that for sure. Thanks, Merril. ❤


  2. I love learning about the different forms, Colleen. I can’t play this week, but hope to next week. 🙂 I’m so glad you’re keeping this up. It’s a wonderful easy way to stay creative. Be well, my friend. ❤


  3. Okay, that was a lot of variations of a cinquain, only confused me reading them all, lol. Is there a basic rule you can recommend for syllable counts for the 5 lines? 🙂


  4. Thanks for the prompt Colleen…♥

    Butterfly Cinquain – The Air

    The Air
    absorbed by the planet,
    is then inhaled by all creatures
    and plants.
    Whilst humans wait behind closed doors
    nature takes advantage
    of the break from

    ©Sally Cronin 2020


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