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. _______
Diamante Poetry Contest!
[Note: The contest has ended]
Here’s a contest for kids age 8-17! Post your children’s diamante poems in the comment section by September 17. A student may enter up to three diamante poems, but each must be submitted as a separate comment. Include the student’s first name and age with each submission. (You won’t be able to center the poem, but that’s OK.)
Eligibility and Details
- Submissions will be accepted between September 10 and 17, 2008.
- Winning diamante poems must adhere strictly to the format rules above. For example, if the student places an adjective where a noun should be, the poem will become ineligible.
- On September 18, four winners will be drawn randomly from eligible submissions. Our favorite of the four will receive the Grand Prize. The other three will win a free poster.
- Winning poems will appear here at the In Our Write Minds blog September 18.
(Edited: As students have begun submitting poems, I’ve noticed that many diamantes have contained errors in which students use adjectives when the instructions call for nouns. Up till now, I have emailed these students with the opportunity to edit their poems, but I may not always have time to do this. Please review your child’s poem first to make sure he or she is using the correct part of speech. I’d love for each and every poem to qualify! —Kim)
- The remaining three students will receive an 8.5″ x 11″ poster.
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Copyright © 2008 Kim Kautzer. All rights reserved.