A cinquain poem is 5 lines long. It has a one word title. Two describing words. Three action words. Four feeling words. Then one synonym for the title (on the fifth line). Try one! Mine is below.
Twisted, curving lips.
Curious, shy, never expected.
If you want to know more about cinquains:
Cinquain.org – “A scholarly exploration of the American cinquain as popularized by Adelaide Crapsey.”
Amaze – The cinquain journal (online but not updated often).
Cinquain, despite its French-sounding name, is an American poetry form that can be traced back to Adelaide Crapsey. Crapsey, influenced by Japanese haiku, developed this poetic system and used it to express brief thoughts and statements. Other poets who popularized the form were Carl Sandburg and Louis Utermeyer. While the form does not have the extensive popularity of haiku, it is often taught in public schools to children because of the form’s brief nature.
Most cinquain poems consist of a single, 22 syllable stanza, but they can be combined into longer works. A cinquain consists of five lines. The first line has two syllables, the second line has four syllables, the third line has six syllables and the fourth line has eight syllables, the final line has two syllables.