One day while he was feeling particularly perverse, Poetry Renewal poet Cory S. Sylvester came up with the idea
for a poem that would be three poems in one. He was inspired by the Diamante for the shape, but the rules are all his own.
Heres how to write one:
- The faceted diamond is fifteen lines long. Although fifteen is the number Mr. Sylvester set, theoretically, it could be any odd number of lines. For practical purposes, it probably needs to be between five
and twenty-three lines. Getting shorter than five lines doesnt make much sense given the structure, and it becomes very difficult to format more than about twelve words as one line, so twenty-three lines is
probably the upper practical limit for a normal publication.
- The poem is syllabic. It has one syllable in the first line, two in the second, and so forth until it has eight syllables in the eighth line for the fifteen-line version, then the number starts descending
back down to one.
- In the odd-numbered lines (with odd numbers of syllables), the whole line is part of all three poems.
- All of the syllables/words in the even-numbered lines are part of the main poem. This main poem is just read in order, line by line, as if there were nothing unusual about the poem.
- The first half of the syllables in the even-numbered lines are part of the second poem. The second poem is read as the first line, the first half of the second line, the entire third line, the first half of
the fourth line, the entire fifth line, etc.
- The second half of the syllables/words in the even-numbered lines are part of the third poem. The third poem is read as the first line, the second half of the second line, the entire third line, the second
half of the fourth line, the entire fifth line, etc.
- All three poems must make sense.
- Usually, a faceted diamond is presented centered on the page. This allows the varying number of words to give it a diamond shape. For ease of reading all three poems, this can be formatted with a break in
the middle of each even-numbered line. This break can be either made with spaces or with some sort of cæsura mark (// or |). To help the readers eye, the start of all lines and the start of the
|Attributed to:|| |
Cory S. Sylvester
|Rhythm/Stanza Length:|| |
|Line/Poem Length:|| |
|See Also: || |
Diamante, Sept, Septet II