How to Write Poetry Part IV

Hello Liv Northgate! We’re back with our final installment of How to Write Poetry. Today our poetry form is the quintain (sometimes called quintet) poetry form. There are a variety of poem styles that are quintains including tanka, limerick, gogyohka, and pentastitch (the latter you may never have heard of, right?); or a quintain can be free verse or blank verse — as long as you are doing five lines per stanza. There is our free verse example poem consisting of five stanzas of five lines each:

Seat L-41

London, the curtain rises, except there is no curtain, just an empty set, awaiting —

Victoria Palace Theatre, sitting in seat L 41 — began with a bet about rap.

“Rap is crap! Not even music at all.” Undaunted, Tatiana is contemplating

To prove me wrong, vowing she will find, the perfect trap.

I knew I would never be satisfied.  

No! To Tupac, Nikki Minaj, Cardi B, Big Sean, and even Eminem,

But then, it happened, I was in the room where it happened, aye —

One song and I was helpless. Hooked. I couldn’t say no. Not then.

So clever, so witty, so much history, I was blown away by —

Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton

Not believing what I’d missed, obsessed,a non-stop pound —

Morning, noon, and night, headphones on, singing along,

Should have taken a break, my world was turned upside down,

Chernow’s book, filled me in on what I’d missed, about Hamilton,

Alexander Hamilton

Looking for tickets non stop, a slow burn, so expensive across the nation, damn.

But a lottery, I knew there was a lottery, and London, London was calling me.

Looking into the lottery, I thought it would be enough, it wasn’t enough, damn.

Wait for it! Tickets, tickets at Victoria Palace, London affordable and available, whee!

Hamilton, I’m going to Hamilton!

Eight months and an ocean away, but it will work, I’ve got my eyes on this.

In London! Walking, talking, sightseeing, George’s castle is really grand, a legend

I can’t wait to tell the story of tonight — Victoria Palace Theatre — Seat L-41 pure bliss,

I was in the room where it happened, magic filled the stage where it happened,

And history has its eyes on Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton.

Of course your poem doesn’t need to be five stanzas  — five lines will do. In fact, you could create a tanka or a limerick both are also quintain poems. Whichever you choose to do, please share your results in the comments. Thanks for going on this poetry writing journey this month. We appreciate the members of our Gilbert, Arizona apartment community!

Pictured: Hamilton, the musical, program and ticket stub.