This is my playground for poetry written for children with ideas and inspiration for writing your own poems. Come on in. Sit for a spell, have a cup of words to swirl around and make your own cup of poetry. I'm so glad you are here. I hope you'll find the Kingdom of Poetry a fun place to be.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Prickly Pear Cactus

on the paddles
of the prickly pear
soon lush yellow and red flowers
then fruit.

    Today's poem is a cinquain, a five line syllabric poem with 2 syllables in the first line, then 4, 6, 8, 2.   Perhaps this chart will help:

Line 1 = 2 syllables
Line 2 = 4 syllables
Line 3 = 6 syllables
Line 4 = 8 syllables
Line 5 = 2 syllables

    Your challenge for today is to try writing your own cinquain.

    The cinquain is a nonce form invented by Adelaide Crapsey (1878-1914).  The poem has 22 syllables compressed into five lines.  If you enjoy this form, you might enjoy reading Lee Bennett Hopkins' anthology of cinquains, CITY TALK, (Knopf, 1970, photographs by Roy Arenella.)  The poems are presented by seasons from children Hopkins worked with as a consultant for Bank Street College of Education in  New York's Harlem schools.

    Mary Lee Hahn is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup at http://readingyear.blogspot.com/


  1. A lovely cinquain! "Paddles of the prickly pear" is perfect. ;~)

    1. I do enjoy syllabic poems. If I can't rhyme, I feel I can count. The leaves on the prickly pear are called paddles. Isn't that fun? But watch out, the spines can be sharp.

  2. Joy, "paddles of the prickly pear" is a wonderful image and the words slide over the tongue so easily. This alliteration adds depth to the cinquain, a great example of how even so-called simple forms take a great deal of thought.

    1. Joyce,
      There are several varieties of prickly pear that grow around Tucson. Beavertail, pancake, porcupine; are a few of them. Tthe paddles range in color from purple, to red, to green, and the flowers are several colors too. But the fruits all makes a delicious sweet syrup.

  3. Great image, Joy. I especially love the alliteration and sounds of the first three lines.

    1. Thanks, Buffy.
      I've been enjoying your posts about MPM. Next year.