How To Write Lanterne
The Lanterne poetry form is a concise and elegant cinquain that originated in Japan. It consists of a single line followed by a descending number of syllables in each subsequent line. The structure typically follows a 1-2-3-4-1 pattern, with the first line containing one syllable, the second line two syllables, the third line three syllables, the fourth line four syllables, and the final line returning to one syllable. This unique structure creates a visually striking shape resembling a lantern, which is where the form gets its name.
Rules of Lanterne
- It is a poem of 5 lines
- Each line has a set number of syllables
- The first line is 1 syllable, second is 2, third is 3, fourth is 4, and fifth is 1.
- There is no rhyme scheme
Stikes a tree—
God has swung his
Benefits and Challenges of the Lanterne
Despite its brevity, the Lanterne form has the power to convey profound emotions and evoke vivid imagery. Each line serves as a building block, carefully chosen to maximize impact within the strict syllable count. With its concise nature, Lanterne poems encourage poets to distill their thoughts and feelings into a concentrated form, challenging them to convey meaning in a limited space. The result is often a poetic gem that captures the essence of a moment or emotion in a beautifully condensed manner.
Lanterne poetry offers a versatile canvas for a wide range of themes and subjects. It can explore the beauty of nature, delve into the depths of human emotions, or contemplate abstract concepts. The limited syllable count forces poets to choose their words thoughtfully, employing powerful imagery and vivid language to convey their intended meaning. By focusing on the essence of each line, the Lanterne form encourages poets to find precision in their expression, fostering a deep connection between words and emotions.
Lanterne Writing Prompts
Prompt 1 – You’re So Quotable
If you want to make a memorable quote you gotta make it short and sweet. Try and part some wisdom using the allotted 11 syllables this form gives you. (Hint: if you can’t think of anything clever to say, just steal some inspiration from the quotes or sayings you like).
Prompt 2 – Character Traits
How well can you describe someone with just 11 syllables?
In his shake
But hates ketchup
Prompt 3 – What Did You Do Yesterday?
Pretty simple, what did you do yesterday?
Did some chores
Spoke to a friend
Prompt 4 – Borrowed Titles
Sometimes when you’re really stuck it can help to look around for inspiration. Use book or song titles to find the words for your lanterne today.
Into The Wild
Prompt 5 – Inventory
Take a brief inventory of the things that surround you at work. Is it obvious what your job is?
Yeah, I walk dogs
Prompt 6 – Power Outage
The lanterne gets its name from the shape it makes when on the page. We only use lanterns nowadays when the power goes out or when we’re camping. Write a lanterne poem about either.
Stikes a tree—
God has swung his
Prompt 7 – Productive Procrastination
Procrastination and writing are two sides of the same coin. But today, we’re merging them together. Use your procrastination as inspiration today. Write a lanterne about the thing you’re putting off or the thing you need to do!
Series is on.