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Cinqku Definition

Cinqku: invented by Denis Garrison as a closer analogue to haiku than the American Cinquain (Adelaide Crapsey), minimizing the utility of the line break technique. Cinqku follows a strict 17 syllable count arranged in five successive lines of 2-3-4-6-2 syllables. No title is used for single verse cinqku poems which are written in haiku- style free diction and syntax with no metrical requirement; a turn is used that may be similar to kireji in haiku or cinquain. Sequence, crown, and mirror, cinqku may be titled.


A Cinqku is a type of syllabic poem that is constructed as a seventeen-syllable cinquain. The rules for its structure are heavily based on American poetic origins. It is part of the English poetic style and is used as a newer form of a traditional Tanka analogue. It borrows heavily from the challenging inspirations of haiku.

Originally created by Denis M. Garrison, the cinqku combines an Americanized form of the Japanese haiku with Tanka and English poetic traditions. Although there is no meter or rhyme scheme, there are other strict rules for its construction that must be followed. A cinqku must always have 5 lines and a perfect seventeen-syllable count. The lines typically follow a 2,3,4,6,2 format. There is no title requirement on the second line.

As for syntax and diction styles, it follows the free Tanka style originally. There are no metric requirements for a cinqku poem. Additionally, the final line must contain a cinquain or kireji turn for emphasis. 

Cinqku Poem Example

Trish Shields, CA  

Friday:
work week done.
Expectant kids
want it to last—too bad:
Monday

wasted
years with him
buried alive
but digging my way out
reclaimed

No standard definition found.

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