CPC #12: Garland Cinquain

Before we jump into this final cinquain challenge, I would like to let you all know that this will be the last challenge on Dark Side of the Moon for a while to come. I am finding it more and more difficult to keep up with all my writing while also trying to pursue art full-time. And there is still that book manuscript that has been “almost ready” for publishing for nearly a year already. It’s time for me to take the final steps toward getting it finished.

I am still trying to write the incremental poetry series. It’s become sort of an obsession with me. And although on my posts I say that I don’t know where it will end, my goal is to get to 100 lines. My pace may have to slow down a bit. After all, it takes longer to write the longer poems. But as time permits, I shall keep writing. And I shall keep reading as well. So I encourage you to keep writing too.

Many thanks to everyone who has ever participated in any of my challenges. You have encouraged this little nobody beyond words. I wish to give special thanks to Elsie Hagley, Jenna of Revived Writer, and V. J. Knutson of One Woman’s Quest. Go ahead and jump over to their pages to see what they are writing.

Elsie has moved to BlogSpot, and it looks as though she hasn’t written anything in a while. I miss her, for she was one of the first to discover my challenges and participate with relish. She really encouraged me to keep going, not only with writing, but also with learning and teaching. If you read this, Elsie, thank you.

Jenna, I sense in your writing that you and I are somewhat of a kindred spirit. We have so many interests in common, especially our love for the Lord. But your poetry has a depth I only aspire to.

And V.J., I have long admired your poetry, but just tonight I read your “A bit about me” page. When I got to the part where you discovered “that living a horizontal existence is quite compatible with writing,” I had to smile, as today I am lying in bed with a migraine. I can’t sleep, but every time I lift my head off the pillow, the pain comes back. So I decided to get out my laptop and make productive use of my horizontal time. 🙂 Thankfully, I don’t live with this every day, but today, and from time to time, I feel a connection to you.

Now on to the lesson, shall we?

Cinquain Poetry Challenge #12

The Garland Cinquain

Are you ready for the final cinquain challenge? I’ve saved the best for last: the Garland Cinquain. In the early days of the Olympics, champions were crowned with a garland wreath. Figuratively, that’s what I was attempting to do for the three poets I mentioned above: V.J., Jenna, and Elsie. Think of those wreaths, and their significance, as we study the grandest of all invented cinquain forms today.

In academic terms, we are taking everything we have learned about the cinquain form and combining it to write our final exam. However, while I am a former teacher, I prefer to think of the Garland Cinquain as the magnum opus of all cinquain forms. It may not be the most important work I’ve ever written, but it stands tall among all other cinquains, to be sure.

The Garland Cinquain starts as a Crown Cinquain but adds a sixth and final cinquain stanza made up of lines drawn from the preceding five stanzas.

To explain, the sixth stanza is formed as follows:

Line 1 = Line 1 of Stanza 1
Line 2 = Line 2 of Stanza 2
Line 3 = Line 3 of Stanza 3
Line 4 = Line 4 of Stanza 4
Line 5 = Line 5 of Stanza 5

My suggestion would be to write this stanza first, then use it to write the others. That’s what I did anyway.

Don’t forget that the first five stanzas have a special set of rules of their own, since they are a Crown Cinquain. If you need a refresher on how to write a Crown Cinquain, look here.

So here in summary, is the Garland Cinquain:

  • a Crown Cinquain + an additional stanza made of lines from the preceding stanzas
  • 30 lines total
  • syllabic count: 2-8-6-4-2 in each stanza
  • written with breaks between stanzas
  • rhyme is optional
  • looks good centered on the page


This sample is mine. Notice how, even though the words are repeated from the end of one stanza to the beginning of the next, the meaning of the words shifts slightly. This is not a requirement, but it is nice when you can accomplish it.

My Love

my love
to you I give,
nor could I less bestow
than that which you have given me,
dear heart

dear heart,
you are my life,
my voice, the air I breathe,
the center of my universe,
my sun

my sun,
fill me with light,
and all my life I’ll give—
to orbit ‘round you will be my

my soul with praise—
your praises I will sing
as if it were enough to show
I care

I care,
and so I’ll go,
to leave you for a day,
until the day when I can show
my love

my love,
you are my life,
and all my life I’ll give,
as if it were enough to show
my love

Copyright © 2019 Abigail Gronway – All Rights Reserved

Write Your Own

Now it’s time for you to write your own Cinq-Cinquain.

    1. Write your poem.
    2. Publish to your blog.
    3. Come back here and click the link to add your post to the linkup.
    4. Encourage your friends to join the party!
    5. Read other people’s posts and leave a comment.

    You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

    Click here to enter


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