#TankaTuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 280, 7/12/22, #SpecificForm: Lanturne or Lanterne


Last month, I asked Lisa, the VerseSmith to select a syllabic form for us to learn more about. Her choice was the lanturne or lanterne. The lanturne is a kind of shape poetry. Many say it originated from Japan, but I found no evidence to support that claim.

The lanturne is a five-line verse shaped like a Japanese lantern with a syllabic pattern of one, two, three, four, one. (1, 2, 3, 4, 1).

This week, write a lanturne poem or a series of lanturne poems. (A series gets you extra credit, by the way). The only thing I ask is that you do not use “ing” ending words to satisfy the word count.


Wikipedia.org shares:

“A lanterne is a cinquain form of poetry, in which the first line has one syllable and each subsequent line increases in length by one syllable, except for the final line that concludes the poem with one syllable (1-2-3-4-1). Its name derives from the lantern shape that appears when the poem is aligned to the center of the page.

Each line of the lanterne is able to stand on its own, and while the poem may or may not be given a title, the title of a lanterne sometimes functions as an integral part of the poem, working as a ‘sixth’ line.”


Antonia Sorin, from The Pen & the Pad, shares a detailed post on how to write a Lanterne poem:

The lantern is a short shape poem from Japan describing a specific one syllable noun, such as a feeling, a thing, or an abstract idea. The lantern poem takes the form of a hanging lantern, going from short to wider as the poem goes on, and then becoming short again in the final line. The purpose of the lantern poem is to illuminate the subject and re-imagine or personalize it for the reader, not just to simply define it.

Make the paragraph center-aligned, in a word processing program. If using pen and paper, write in the middle of the page.

Choose a one syllable noun. This will serve as both the topic of your poem and the first line. For example, “Bed.”

Describe the noun in two syllables for the second line. It can be be either one word or two words. In my example, it could be “gentle.”

Describe the noun in three syllables for the third line. The lantern shape should start becoming noticeable, with the poem getting slowly wider with each line. For the sample poem, I’ll use, “Soft pillows.”

Describe the noun in four syllables for the fourth line. This is the widest line in the poem. For this line in the sample poem, I’ll use, “Sleep, jump, play, love.”

Choose a one syllable noun that is a synonym or a reinterpretation of the original noun for the fifth and final line. If the original noun was “bed,” the final noun could be “rest,” and thus the poem redefines a bed as rest. Note our finished example poem would look like this (although it would be center-aligned) (I can’t center align selected text in the quote block):



Soft pillows

Sleep, jump, play, love


The lantern shape can also be thought of as a bell shape.

Don’t be afraid to use a simile in the second, third or fourth lines. A simile is a comparison using “like” or “as.”

Sorin, Antonia. “How to Write a Lantern Poem” last modified July 11, 2022. https://penandthepad.com/write-lantern-poem-4928414.html

This is the example poem below. I see where the addition of a title would give this lanterne poem more punch. So keep that in mind when you craft your own poetry. Also, I prefer syllabic poetry to have each line “un-capitalized,” unlike freestyle poetry which capitalizes each line to separate thoughts. The syllable count per line defines the poem’s flow. The capitalization is unnecessary.


soft pillows 
sleep, jump, play, love 

© Antonia Sorin

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

Not sure how to write syllabic poetry?

READ THIS FIRST: How to Craft Syllabic Poetry

Tanka Tuesday Cheat Sheet






Word Craft: Prose & Poetry – The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry


  • Follow the directions above. Write your syllabic poem. Try not to use “ing” ending words to satisfy the word count.
  • Post it on your blog. Include a link back to the challenge in your post. (copy the URL: https:// address of this post into your post).
  • Copy your link into the Mr. Linky below (underlined with a hyperlink). You might have to delete your previous entry.
  • Please click the small checkbox on Mr. Linky about data protection.
  • Read and comment on some of your fellow poets’ work.

The screenshot below shows what Mr. Linky looks like inside. Add your name, and the URL of your post. Click the box about the privacy policy (It’s blue). As everyone adds their links to Mr. Linky, you can view the other submissions by clicking on the Mr. Linky link on the challenge post. All the links will show in the order of posting.


Follow the schedule listed below:

Now, have fun and write some lanturne poetry!

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Hello! 👋 Welcome to Word Craft Poetry.
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive notifications of the #TankaTuesday Poetry Challenges, examples of syllabic poetry, news about my poetry books, and more content in your inbox every day.

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About Colleen Chesebro: WordCraftPoetry

Colleen M. Chesebro is a Michigan Poet who loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction. Colleen sponsors a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called #TankaTuesday, on wordcraftpoetry.com where participants learn how to write traditional and current forms of syllabic poetry. A published author, Colleen is also an editor of “Word Weaving, a Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse, also found on wordcraftpoetry.com. Colleen’s mission is to bring the craft of writing syllabic poetry to anyone who thinks they can’t be a poet. Recently, she created the Double Ennead, a 99-syllable poetry form for the Carrot Ranch literary community at carrotranch.com. Colleen’s poetry has appeared in various anthologies and journals including “Hedgerow-a journal of small poems,” and “Poetry Treasures1 & 2” a collection of poetry from the poet/author guests of Robbie Cheadle on the “Treasuring Poetry” blog series on “Writing to be Read." Colleen published “Word Craft: Prose & Poetry, The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry,” which illustrates how to write various syllabic poetry forms used in her Tanka Tuesday challenges; and a collection of poetry, flash fiction, and short stories called, “Fairies, Myths & Magic: A Summer Celebration,” dedicated to the Summer Solstice. She contributed a short story called “The Changeling,” in the “Ghostly Rites Anthology 2020,” published by Plaisted Publishing House. Find Colleen at Word Craft: Prose & Poetry at wordcraftpoetry.com.
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  3. Hey Colleen, here’s mine. I really wanted to write etheree this week.🥺🙏🏾🙏🏾

  4. Pingback: #TankaTuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 280, 7/12/22, #SpecificForm: Lanturne or Lanterne | willowdot21

  5. This one is nice to look at and hopefully good to read 💜💜

  6. Looking forward to seeing everyone’s entries 💜

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  8. This is fun and easy, Colleen! Here is mine – https://amanpan.com/2022/07/12/summer/

  9. Looking forward to it Colleen..♥

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  12. Fun! Here’s my first attempt at a lanturne or two: https://authorsarahdavid.wordpress.com/2022/07/12/poem-skipping-stones/. I added it to the Linky.

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  16. This was fun! Thank you so much for posting this! 🙂 Here’s mine (which I also posted per the instructions): https://cognacproject.wordpress.com/2022/07/13/lantern-poems/

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  18. Thank you, Colleen. I’ve added my contribution — a first time at trying a lanturne. 😊

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  21. It’s the first time I have across this form of poetry…truly entranced by the lantern shape after writing it…Hope it’s good! 🤞


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  25. My first ever attempt here – hope this is okay! I love the kind of clarity syllabic poetry has <3


  26. This looks like fun! I hope to write one at some point this weekend. 🙂

  27. Lovely, Colleen. And forgive what I said about looking for Mr. Linky in your other post. I seem to be a tad bit lost these days. Forgive. Like you, I could not follow the part about making the first line a single word noun. And I liked what resulted. Thanks for having me. All the best to you this summer.
    (My next door neighbors are in your neck of the woods for the next ten days… there to take part in their daughter’s wedding– just sharing– imagining they might just bump into you).

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  29. Thank you for a new form, Colleen. Enjoyed writing to it. 🙂

  30. Thank you! I love your Prosper series. I didn’t go with Antonia’s structure either. I tried to title mine so it goes with the poems. Summer.

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  32. I can’t seem to find Mr. Linky! And nor am I, at the moment at least, posting this entry in my blog, which isn’t primarily a poetry blog, and I’ve only just published a poetry post! It’s a form I’ll continue to play with until I feel I’ve ‘taken ait on’. At the moment, I still feel at the experimental stage. Here – https://docs.google.com/document/d/19-X2seA9OOOQL3pubcUha-x0w7G2v78-O3vKCreKsRQ/edit?usp=sharing

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