Poetic Form Challenge

April is National Poetry Month and in celebration of it we are trying out some forms. The two are the nonet and the cinquan both are less than ten lines and are syllabic poetry. The nonet

he nonet poetic form is simple. It’s a 9-line poem that has 9 syllables in the first line, 8 syllables in the second line, 7 syllables in the third line, and continues to count down to one syllable in the final (ninth) line.

There are two different reasons for the evolution of this form one is that the nonet is used for a group of 9 performers or instruments. So may have been  inspired by music. It also is used in relation to the nine muses of mythology. It’s a guess but I would think the first person to write a nonet based it on them. However, it arose and maybe both were involved in its inception.

The Cinquan is a five line poem it starts with a two syllable line, the next is four, then six, then eight and then returns to eight.  This is the Adelaide Crapsey  version made  popular in this country known as the American Cinqquan.

Adelaide Crapsey (1878-1914) was an American poet best known for establishing the five-line form known as the cinquain.

She had a deep appreciation for metrics and was an admirer of Japanese tanka and haiku. Her cinquain was developed partly as an American analogue of these forms.

The cinquain, also known as a quintain or quintet, is a poem or stanza composed of five lines. Examples of cinquains can be found in many European languages, and the origin of the form dates back to medieval French poetry. So as a five line poem it has an earlier inception than our American version and is different in its form. For our Poetic Challenge we are using the American Cinquan.

Since these are response to a prompt the elements for them are too use one of these phrases: where will it be found, dreaming again, it is elegant,

Or use all of these words in it: revenge, dancing, candle, haunted,

Poetic Form Challenge

April 16, 1963

MLK Jr. wrote to me,

“Child sit not by idly

when injustice you see.

What sears another

also burns thee.”




Lynne Webster


evasive dancing

as a candle’s flame moves

out of reach in the haunted light


Nancy Nation

The purple iris swaying gently
Back and forth, in the morning breeze
Without a care in the world.
God’s unique creation.
It is elegant.
Beauty unmatched
and um pah pah
Dancing in my bones,
Bratwurst downed with frothy beer
Ellynore Smith

Dreaming again layers of silk pass

between my slumbering fingertips

A soft sensation slips from

My serene  somnolent self

It seeks the submissive

Folds that they may

Wrap me up in



Chris Howard

Where Will It Be Found

Prompt: “where will it be found?”

That inspiration, that incentive, that motivation, that encouragement, where will it be found? What is it that energizes the mind and body to be creative, is it a seed we are all born with, that will grow with the proper amount of water and fertilizer, that sometimes can’t grow because of a hostile environment? Is it simply a vocation chosen for reasons of money, fame or need? What inspired Michelangelo? What inspired Dickens? What inspired the Bronte sisters? Did they know what they were adding to our world?

Lorraine Wait