10-line Poem Challenge #22: Mirror Oddquain

Last week we studied the Mirror Cinquain. So based upon what you know about the cinquain, and about mirrors, what do you suppose a Mirror Oddquain looks like?You may remember that a Cinquain has a syllabic count of 2-4-6-8-2. Well, an Oddquain has a similar structure, only there is an odd number of syllables on each line. Thus, the Oddquain is formed with 1-3-5-7-1 syllables. You may thank Glenda L. Hand for this form.

The Oddquain may have several variations.

  1. Oddquain Sequence — a poem made up of 2 or more Oddquain stanzas
  2. Crown Oddquain — a 5-stanza Oddquain sequence
  3. Reverse Oddquain — a 5-line poem with line lengths of 1-7-5-3-1 syllables
  4. Mirror Oddquain — a 2-stanza Oddquain sequence, where the second is reversed
  5. Oddquain Butterfly — a “Merged Mirror Oddquain,” where the two stanzas of the Mirror Oddquain are merged together and one of the middle 1-syllable lines is dropped, forming a 9-line poem. It looks best when centered on the page.

All of these are listed here for your reference, but today we will look in depth at the only variation that falls into the category of a decastich, and that is the Mirror Oddquain.

In summary, the Mirror Oddquain is

• A decastich (10-line poem) written in two stanzas.
• Syllabic count: 1-3-5-7-1, 1-7-5-3-1
• It should express a complete thought and may be on any theme and express any mood.
• Rhyme is optional


Below are two samples for you. With each Mirror Oddquain I’ve written, I have attempted to establish some sort of connection between the first and last words. In this first one, not only are chimes and sing synonymous, but they also form a complete thought of their own, as though the eight lines in between them are their embellishment. I considered giving this the title “Chimes Sing,” but the wind is actually the main focus of the poem, not the chimes.

The second sample, “Day,” begins and ends with antonyms.

Blow, Wind

Announce the
Stirring of the breeze,
As do dancing leaves in trees.
Drive winter’s chill far away;
Usher in the spring,
And birds will

Copyright © 2018 Abigail Gronway – All Rights Reserved


Marches in
As a warrior
Bravely goes into battle.
The gilded soldier descends
Defeated again
By dark of

Copyright © 2018 Abigail Gronway – All Rights Reserved

It’s Your Turn!

Now it’s time for you to write a Mirror Oddquain. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  1. Choose a topic. It can be anything. If you’re struggling for an idea, you might consider the Daily Prompts from The Daily Post
  2. DON’T worry about rhyme, as it’s not necessary here.
  3. DO keep a handle on the syllable count for each line.
  4. Try to avoid filler words. Instead, use a thesaurus to find precise words that give you the right syllable count for each line.
  5. Feel free to make the words of the poem reflect themselves, if you so desire.
  6. And of course, when you are finished, share your poem with the rest of us.

Don’t know how? Follow these simple steps…

  1. Write your blog post.
  2. Include the tag Decastich Challenge or 10LPC
  3. Include a pingback/link to this post in your post so I can find you.
  4. Publish your post.

Last Week’s Poems

Please enjoy these fine Mirror Cinquain poems from last week’s study….

Dig Deeper

To find more samples and to learn from those who taught me, check out these sites. All links open in a separate tab so you can easily find your way back here.

Poet’s Collective ~ The forms on this website are not organized in alphabetical order, but he does have at least one sample poem for each form, he even has tags for rhyme scheme. He also has a visual template for every form so you can see the rhyme scheme and stress patterns, as applicable. That is extremely helpful.

Sol Magazine ~ This resource covers much more than just 10-line poems.

“Metric Forms from Pathways for the Poet” ~ This is an outline of information from Pathways for the Poet by Viola Berg (1977), a book for and by educators. This resource also includes more than just 10-line poems, but it helped to fill in the gaps where my other sources were a bit scanty with their information.

Shadow Poetry ~ This is my favorite resource for learning about poetic forms (and not just the decastich), but I have discovered that there is ever so much more to learn than what I can find here. This is, however, a very good place to start.


20 Replies to “10-line Poem Challenge #22: Mirror Oddquain”

  1. Thanks so much for including my poem in your examples. I love these cinquains and I can see you too. There is something magical about the syllable placement. Hugs. I hope I see more of your poetry. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t believe it for a minute, but thank you. So you keep painting your gorgeous paintings and writing your creative posts, and I’ll keep doing what I do too, and the world will keep spinning, whether or not we paint or write. Lol


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