Lanterne: Illuminating The Way
Lanterne is a five
line quintain verse shaped like a Japanese lantern with a syllabic
pattern of one, two, three, four, one. Each line usually is able to
stand on its own as a phrase, and the poem may or may not have a title
which sometimes forms an integral part as a 'sixth line'.
Lanterne verses contain 11 syllables arranged in five lines: 1,2,3,4,1 =
Some poets consider the lanterne to be half of a cinquain. Adeleide
Crapsey invented the cinquain in 1918. The cinquain is a five line verse
with the syllabic pattern 2, 4, 6, 8, 2. Both forms use images to
convey their ideas.
The lines of the lanterne are often printed so they are centered on the
page, thus, giving the approximate shape of a Japanese lantern. Some
contemporary writers who use this form prefer to print the poem so the
lines are flush with the left margin. Variations on the form include the
mirror, the sequence, the crown, and the garland. Since the form
is flexible other variations could be designed.
The lanterne and the cinquain have been used by elementary school
teachers as a didatic form employed to introduce young children to
Brian Strand, an English poet, has combined the lanterne form with
Ekphrasis in a series of poems focusing on famous artists and their paintings.