Erotica Readers & Writers Association Blog

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Writing Exercise

 By Ashley Lister

 Did I ever mention the cinquain? I can’t recall if I’ve covered it on here. And, even if I have, the cinquain is always worth revisiting.

Invented by Adelaide Crapsey, not a name that most would want associated with their poetry, the traditional cinquain is five lines of effective syllable based poetry.

giggling groans
a ripe rosy red rump
cheerily cheeky chastised cheeks

Note the syllable count for this form:

Line one                               = 2 x syllables
Line two                               = 4 x syllables
Line three                           = 6 x syllables
Line four                              = 8 x syllables
Line five                               = 2 x syllables

Note also that the last line refers back to the first line, to give the poem its cyclical feel.

lips against lips
licks, kisses and nibbles
your scent, your taste, your sweet flavour
you’re mine

There are different interpretations of the cinquain, each one perfectly valid. But I do love the rigidity of the traditional form. As always, if you fancy sharing your cinquain in the comments box below, I’ll look forward to reading your work.


  1. And is the photo really of sweet Adelaide?

    Thanks for another challenge, Ash.

  2. Hi Lisabet,

    This is, indeed, the unfortunately named Ms Crapsey. Look forward to seeing your response :-)


  3. fumbling
    his calloused hands
    unhooking her bra strap
    his breath smells of beer and ciggies
    age gap

  4. Rachel - it's been too long.

    The thing I love about this one (even though you've taken a grim turn with the content) is that your voice is so clear in this:

    You pronounce 'fumbling' as FUM-BLING (not fum-BULL-ing).

    You pronounce beer with a single broad vowel sound in the middle, rather than as a two syllable word (BE-ARR).

    Lovely use of the form :-)

  5. Thanks Ash. My English dialect creeping in, I think :) My morning routine is to write a cinquain, a haiky, a tanka and a sevenling before I do anything else, has been for about ten years. The cinquains I generally use for plotting novels, and this one concerns the deflowering of a girl by an older man,


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