How to write a diamante poem
Diamante: A seven-line poem that takes the shape of a diamond.
Roaring, snarling, prowling
Mane, muscle . . . Fleece, fluff
Bleating, leaping, grazing
A Poem of Opposites
Remember that the first and last words of a cinquain are synonyms—the last word of the poem renames the first.
Diamantes, however, are poems about opposites: the first and last words have opposite meanings (or convey opposite ideas).
A diamante has seven lines that follow this sequence:
Line A: Topic A (must be a noun)
Line B: Two vivid adjectives that describe Topic A
Line C: Three interesting “-ing” action verbs that describe Topic A
Line D: Two concrete nouns about Topic A and two about Topic G
Line E: Three interesting “-ing” action verbs that describe Topic G
Line F: Two vivid adjectives that describe Topic G
Line G: Topic G (must be a noun)
Here’s another example:
Glowing, shining, revealing
Mirror, candle . . . Whisper, shadow
Deepening, sleeping, shrouding
Use the tips below to brainstorm on blank paper for different ideas. Then follow the directions to write your own descriptive diamante. Because the poem has a limited number of words, choose each word carefully, avoiding vague, blah words.
Opposite Word Pair Ideas
Correct: age/youth (nouns)
Incorrect: old/young (adjectives)
Line A: Name a topic (see the suggestions above for some ideas).
Line G: Name an opposite topic. (This will be the LAST line of your diamante.) Remember—topics must be nouns.
Line B: Brainstorm 5-6 vivid, concrete adjectives to describe Topic A. Do not choose words that end in “-ing.”
Line C: Brainstorm 5-6 highly descriptive participles (verbs ending in “-ing”) that fit Topic A.
Line D: Brainstorm several nouns that tell something about Topic A and Topic G. Be careful—make sure you choose NOUNS, not ADJECTIVES!
Line E: Brainstorm 5-6 highly descriptive participles (verbs ending in “-ing”) that fit Topic G.
Line F: Brainstorm 5-6 vivid, concrete adjectives to describe Topic G. Do not choose words that end in “-ing.”
Writing Your Diamante
- Pick out your most descriptive words from your brainstorming and put your diamante together. Diamantes do not need titles.
- When you are satisfied, recopy the poem onto clean notebook paper.
- Center your diamante on the paper.
- Begin each line with a capital letter, and remember your commas. Do not use ending punctuation.
- Include three spaced periods in the middle of Line D.
- When finished, double-check for concreteness!
Line A. _______
Line B. _______ , _______
Line C. _______ , _______ , _______
Line D. _______ , _______ . . . _______ , _______
Line E. _______ , _______ , _______
Line F. _______ , _______
Line G. _______
Now that you know how to write a diamante poem, I encourage you to write many more!
Photos: Kim Alaniz and Dustin Ginetz, courtesy of Creative Commons.
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