Echo #Cinquain Poetry – Writing In Fixed Form For Colleen’s 2019 Weekly Tanka Tuesday



Shadow voices

drifting slowly closer.

Seconds crackle, shiver, collapse.


The little poem above is a Cinquain written for Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge. Each line has a set number of words, and a set number of syllables. Overall it’s a tiny, tight poem, that like all fixed forms can be a pain in the arse to write well.

Fixed Form is probably the hardest poetry to write to a high standard, because the rules mean you have to find words that suit what you’re trying to say, but also fit in with the structure you’ve got to work with. It is just the same when you’re working with a rhyme scheme. You might have a word that paint the right picture for the piece, but it might not rhyme in the way you need it to, so you have to substitute in something else of rework the entire poem. It’s why I write so much poetry in free verse, because that way I don’t feel like I’m hammering my poems into shape that they don’t necessarily suit.

However, I do love the challenge of writing a poem in fixed form, which is why I still take part in challenges like Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, (and when I remember about it) December Form Challenge over on Deviant Art. I firmly believe that just because it’s difficult to write in Fixed Form, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to do it anyway.

Poetry is important free or fixed. How you chose to navigate the verses is up to you.


  1. Well done, Carol. I like your Cinquain very much. I love syllabic poetry, and yes, it can be tough to write. That’s the challenge. 😀 Besides, writing this kind of poetry helps in your other writing endeavors. It helps you to learn the power of the brevity of words. Happy New Year, my friend. ❤


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