My poetry group is still unable to meet and we are still sharing poems via the internet. As I have mentioned previously on this blog we have also had a few ‘challenges’ along the way. We have a new one for May. This one was suggested by me after my daughter, who teaches English as a foreign language in Spain, told me that her class of 9 year old Spanish children had been writing Diamante poems in English. At that stage I had no idea what a Diamante poem was but I thought that if Spanish children can write them in English so can the poetry group. So I did the research and set the challenge.

The Diamante form was created by an American poet and educator called Iris McClellen Tiedt in 1969. It is a non-rhyming, word count poem in 7 lines and shaped like a diamond. It usually has two objects (subjects) and about half way through one morphs into the other. The two objects should be related in some way – i.e. night/day, air/water, etc. You do need to know your parts of speech though. It is constructed like this:

Line 1: One Noun ( the first object) – a noun is a naming word such as chair, door, dog, sky.

Line 2: Two Adjectives – describing the first object (e.g. shiny, round, fat)

Line 3: Three verbs about the first object – verbs are ‘doing words’ and should preferably be continuous action such as swimming, walking, breathing.

Line 4: Four nouns – here comes the change; the first two are about the first object, the second two introduce the second object but do not name it.

Line 5: Three verbs (continuous action) about the second object.

Line 6: Two adjectives – describing the second object.

Line 7: One noun – naming the second object.

You can find loads of information about Diamante poems on the Internet. Here’s a link to get you started: www.poetryforkids.com/lessons/how-to-write-a-diamante-poem/ (I have tried to click on this and it tells me the page does not exist – believe me it does! If you can’t make it work try typing the link into your search engine.)

Here are two that I wrote for the challenge so you can see how it works in practice.

bright, yellow,
shining, warming, life-giving
fire, orb, white, crescent,
shading, illuminating, shape-shifting
pearly, full,

young, carefree,
singing, dancing, playing,
school, friends, home, family,
welcoming, loving, caring,
wise, elderly,

Actually, I have just noticed a mistake in the first one – ‘white’ is not strictly a noun, unless you are naming the colour which I’m not doing here; back to the drawing board!


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