OLWG #21 – Relaxation

 This weeks prompts are at the bottom. I have chosen for my practice today to write more poetry.  I’ve chosen, Cinquain. Practice makes perfect.

Here’s how to play along, if you are unsure.

A cinquain is a five-line poem that was invented by Adelaide Crapsey. She was an American poet who took her inspiration from Japanese haiku and tanka. A collection of her poems, titled Verse, was published in 1915, one year after her death, and included 28 Cinquains.

Cinquains are particularly vivid in their imagery and are meant to convey a certain mood or emotion.

A Classic Cinquain Example

Here is an example from Adelaide Crapsey of a cinquain that she wrote titled “Snow”

Look up…
From bleakening hills
Blows down the light, first breath
Of wintry wind…look up, and scent
The snow!

American Cinquain Form

Originally, Crapsey created the form for the American cinquain with five lines and a fixed number of stresses per line as so:

The first line has one stress, which was usually iambic meter with the first syllable unstressed and the second stressed.
Line two has two stresses.
Line three has three stresses.
Line four has four stresses.
Line five has one stress.

Because poets seek what is often intangible she modified the form to encompass a certain number of syllables per line:

Line one had two syllables.
Line two had four syllables.
Line three had six syllables.
Line four had eight syllables.
Line five had two syllables.

My first go is American Cinquain (of the latter form) that I have titled “Relaxation”

We love
In the cool shade
Of the cottonwood tree
Unashamed, we talk, touch, kiss, dream
We love

My second go is Tanka – also titled “Relaxation”

Note the form of Tanka is five lines but the syllable count is different than American Cinquain. Tanka is 57577. I wanted to convey the same idea, in both poems but I encountered considerable difficulty with this format. I chose to shuffle some Spanish in with the English, it was easier for me to do while adhering to the syllabic requirements of the Tanka.

a dry, dusty day
debajo del álamo
a sin vergüenza
we make love then lie apart
to talk, dream, kiss and reprise

This translates to English, in my mind, as:

a dry, dusty day
under the cottonwood
we make love then lie apart
to talk, dream, kiss and reprise

A bit different and lacking the required structure, for the purist. I think I like the one with the embedded Spanish.

You guys can play with this. Play with the structure, play with language, pare it down then paste it back together again.

This week’s prompts are:

  1. I’m gonna be late for work
  2. Hippopotamus
  3. Wait till your father gets home

But if those seem a little redundant you can try these if you want:

  1. They had one greedy son
  2. King of clubs
  3. I do

Mix and match is also acceptable if you so desire. Alternatively, you can ignore them all and write whatever strikes your fancy. I like that idea too.


Go ahead and dive in,
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun

17 thoughts on “OLWG #21 – Relaxation

  1. Worked on it, so glad it shows!
    And, thanks for the re-follow. Had to do some house cleaning to scour out the Bad Apple, which seems to have worked. One cautious step at a time!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know taking on new challenges is good, but I’d only just got to grips with the American sentence.
    Love your American Cinquain and your tankas – all are sensual and especially like the reprise included in the latter.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This was an interesting post. I think I will stick to prose. I will definitely be trying on some of your prompts though. It will all be Violet’s, look she’s right above me, fault.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think I’ve done some Cinquain, but I’m not good with stress points or meter.
    I’ll stick with American style haiku and the like. I did put up a haibun for this post:
    #30 Drawer
    Played with another banking term… Language can be fun in and out of context.
    …and as it is 11.11 – Thank you and to all Vets and their supporting families too!

    Liked by 1 person

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