Quintain (Sicilian)

Written in Iambic Pentameter with a rhyme sequence of a.b.a.b.a. This form has been used by many great poets and, like the Tanka, it is a valid and wonderful poetry form in it’s own write. An example that was provided with this description:

And on and on it goes, on through endless time
Never letting go of the person we love.
Two souls always searching for a path sublime
Connected yet apart, always cognizant of
That to others we will always be, a paradigm.

Ryter Roethicle

However, there is a problem with the Iambic Pentameter in this piece. Marie Elena has written a response as her example.
Marie Elena’s reply:


Iambic pentameter has five feet.
(da DUM, da DUM, da DUM, da DUM, da DUM)
Two syllables in each, so ten’s complete.
(da DUM, da DUM, as though upon a drum)
So Ryter Roethicle “done lost his beat”?!

Walt’s Quintain:


I stand before the god’s of love again,
and hope my fate is better than it was.
For things are not the way that they had been;
my heart still breaks the way a good heart does.
To lay a heart to waste is such a sin.


  1. THE ROSE IN YOUR HAIRThis rose you place in locks of sunny goldwill perish, velvet petals fall to dust,but dear, this beating heart, the vows I’ve toldto you before our God, I gave in trust.Though flowers die, our love will not grow old.

  2. Lunch BreakKick off the patent heels and panty hose,Shake out the tight chignon with girlish zeal,Hike up your pencil skirt cause no one knowsThis momentary splendor that you feel:The glory of the grass between your toes.

  3. Sorry, Walt, I couldn't resist it:For sin against correct apostropheWalt must be made to pay a heavy fine.The gods of love in wild antistropherise up in anger dire against his crime.Take care, young man, avoid catastrophe.This form has legs, be sure I shall return,iambs deployed within a kinder verse,discourtesy dispelled, scorn overturned;never more complain in tones perverse.I promise I will make a sharp u-turn.

  4. Heehee, Viv! It's an it'sy bit'sy evil little mark, it is! 😉 Great job, Sal, Catherine, and Viv! Shannon, I hope you give it another shot. I wish you had left yours up, even though it didn't really fit the form. We could still enjoy it and learn from it. Our PB Poets make my day!

  5. TravelerI dream of traveling throughout the earth, to see exotic wonders far and wide.I pause and think of my old place of birth,of Pennsylvania hills and country side,and ask what memories hold greater worth.

  6. Viv pointed me to your blog, and I'm enjoying what I've read so far. Although I think I've written a cinquain or two, I don't believe I've written a sicilian quintain. Here goes:Do I Have to Work?The boss is out of the office today,all is quiet in my faux-paneled world,and I wonder if there could be a way,as I sit with fingers o'er keyboard curled,to take my hoop and go outside to play.It's a tempting thought, that I must admit,but my iPod is, sadly, out of reach,and hooping without music – I've tried it -is not really fun unless at the beach.What's more, the boss would have a hissy fit.So I suppose hooping will have to waituntil the workday drudgery is done;for the next few hours my thirst I will satewith watching my hoop friends having their fun.For virtual play, YouTube can be great. 😉

  7. You guys make these things seem natural as breathing. I may not have mentioned this, but rhyme hates me. (but the rhythm breaks are intentional)On Having Finished a DreamThe old cat sleeps in the morning window sun,and I am drowsy, too.  When I first wokethe stupid dent in your pillow was still warm;now, it's topography.  It doesn't speak.Stretching, in the quiet house, I am alone.

  8. Classroom Poetry LessonA form, a scaffold for young unpoemed minds.An outline for their inspiration. Oris it a cell? Does it confine? Or bindtheir muse in chained-link woe. Would they write more if immersed in poets' words, sparking finds. The QuintainWhisper to me. Sing me to sleep. Rock meto a ten beat treat. I'll go up and downand back and forth. It is the place to bewhen words are the top toy for play and sound.I'll catch the boat and float in it's wavy sea.

  9. Love Carcass (original)A hope, a wish, a kiss unpecked, words leftunsaid. They crack and sag and when we partI wonder if we fell apart. Or didwe just forget to start? Rotted away,decayed, the carcass left from beasts that prey.Love Carcass (revised to rhyme)A hope, a wish, a kiss unpecked, words leftunsaid. They crack and sag and when we partI wonder if we fell apart. Or theftof love, robbed from the start? A rotted heartdecayed, the carcass left us both bereft.

  10. Well, obviously this form has been quite a challenge for me.The Iambic Pentameter is off in places…Last line of "The Quintain" has 11 syllables…Change the last line to:I'll catch the boat, float in it's wavy sea.Thank you Marie Elena and Walt for the pushing me to branch out in my poetic attempts.

  11. Messing AroundIt’s time we all just stop messing around.Some see the shallow waters there as deep.It’s peace within your soul that must be found.So share some love today before you sleep.What goes around will surely come around.By Michael Grove

  12. My understanding is that Pollard turned over a list of our operatives in Russia to Israel, Israel sold the list to Russia in exchange for more Jews, and the Russians seized and executed the operatives.…and that is why many are pissed, and will spill these particular beans if Pollard is paroled.

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