10-line Poem Challenge #23: Cinq Trois DecaLa Rhyme

Welcome to Week 23 of the Decastich Challenge. Allow me to introduce you to the Cinq Trois DecaLa Rhyme, invented by Laura Lamarca. Beginning this week, I will also give you a new way to share your contributions. Instead of waiting to see your links added to next week’s challenge, there will be a place in this post for you to link your poem yourself. That’s right. I stepped out of my comfort zone once again and learned about the little frog over at Inlinkz. 🙂 I think this will work much better for all of us….

So now, are you ready to learn about the Cinq Trois DecaLa Rhyme? Great! Then keep on reading.

What in the world does the name mean? I’m not entirely sure, but I could take it apart and figure out most of it.

Cinq is French for 5
Trois is French for 3
Deca suggests 10
La Rhyme refers to the fact that this is a rhyming poem

Okay. So there 15 syllables on each line (5×3). Also, there are 3 rhyming sounds throughout the poem. The stanza consists of 10 lines, and it rhymes.

In my source, where I learned about this form, deca and la were put together, just as I present it, with a capital D and a capital L. I don’t know if that is a mistake or if that’s the way Ms. Lamarca intended it. But since I don’t know any better, I’m leaving it as is until further notice.

To summarize, the Cinq Trois DecaLa Rhyme is:

• A decastich (10-line poem) written in only one stanza.
• It has 15 syllables per line.
• Rhyme scheme: aabbcccabc
• Meter is optional


Below are two samples for you. The extended length of the lines gives it a sense that it’s longer than a mere ten lines. Frankly, I like that. The series of short poems has been nice, but I’ve been hankering to cut my teeth on something a little longer. The Cinq Trois DecaLa Rhyme is a short poem with the feel of a longer one. With this form I can narrate a story, not just suggest one. I like that. Perhaps you will too. Check out these samples, then write one of your own.

Passing Train

The train rushes past me as I sit quietly counting cars.
One… two… three… four… Graffiti embellishes them like old scars
Of past relationships, signified by hearts and lovers’ names,
Memorialized with great grace and flawless design on frames
Destined to carry the messages from sea to shining sea.
A pity they missed their calling, these artists. Don’t you agree?
They could be painting for kings…. One ninety-two… one ninety-three—
Something must have happened up the track, for suddenly it jars,
But does not stop. Good-bye, mobile art gallery…. No one blames
These artists for brightening our lives with their hyperbole.

Copyright © 2018 Abigail Gronway – All Rights Reserved

Writing Spree

The Cinq Trois DecaLa Rhyme is not the easiest of forms:
To go through the trouble of making sure every line conforms
To the requisite fifteen syllables, no less and no more,
Then add to that the triple rhyme scheme, which can be quite a chore.
These rambling lines do awkward and unnatural seem to be,
However, for a short narrative, their length works perfectly.
Despite the ten-line limit, it’s almost like a writing spree.
So if after you view my tutorial, your spirit warms
To this form, then try it. I promise you won’t find it a bore.
Grab your pencil and write a Cinq Trois DecaLa Rhyme with me!

Copyright © 2018 Abigail Gronway – All Rights Reserved

It’s Your Turn!

Now it’s time for you to write a Cinq Trois DecaLa Rhyme. 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. This one does have rhyme, so you’ll want to keep that in mind.
  3. Also 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. 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 (optional, but greatly appreciated).
      4. Publish your post.
      5. NEW! Click the blue button below to add your link. You may also read what others have written here. This link will remain open for one week.

Last Week’s Poems

Since this is the first week with the link-up, I am still including links to last week’s poems for all to enjoy. Please check out these fine Mirror Oddqains 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.

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