Cinq Ans

Read the poem here: Cinq Ans.

Leafing through a pdf version of 'The Handbook of Poetic Forms', I came across the Cinquain, a form devised by the american poet Adelaide Crapsey, usually written in iambic meter with five lines of one, two, three, four and one stresses respectively—this means they have two, four, six, eight and two syllables.

In Fry's 'The Ode Less Traveled', I learned that English poetry focuses on both accents and syllables (hence the insistence on some sort of consistent meter in most forms; e.g. iambic pentameter for blank or heroic verse), whereas Spanish poetry focuses more on syllables. The fact that not only is Spanish my first language, but also the language whose poetry I've read the most, probably means that somewhere in my subconscious I have a preference for syllabic forms—and am consequently terrible at writing consistent meter—which explains why I felt so drawn to the Tanka when I discovered it in Borges, and why this new form, that could be treated syllabically, also attracted me.

So one Sunday, while thinking about how fickle I am with most things I endeavor to pursue, I wondered if I would still be writing in five years—whether I'd keep doing it or if it'd go away and come back when the time was right, like playing music—and it hit me: five years, cinq ans: why not try to put this in cinquains. So I did, and it actually felt right. So here it is: Cinq Ans.

About the photo: that's a winter in Prague almost five years ago, my first time in the northern hemisphere for the winter; did a lot of thinking in trains, not unlike the episode in this poem, back then.