The diamante poem, or diamond poem, was created by Iris Tiedt in A New Poetry Form: The Diamante, published in 1969.
The most popular way that these poems are used is to compare and contrast the subject matter. This means that the poet will pick two opposites and write about each within the seven lines. For example, spring and fall, light and dark, age and youth, or men and women. The poems might also be used to speak on synonyms and antonyms.
Explore Diamante Poetry
Form of a Diamante Poem
The lines are not just shaped into a diamond, they also follow a specific pattern within the diamond. The subject of the poem is in the first line. It is usually a noun. It is then followed by two adjectives, then some verbs, more nouns, verbs, adjectives, and then the second subject (opposite or antonym). When written out the pattern sometimes looks like this:
Verb Verb Verb
Noun Noun Noun Noun
Verb Verb Verb
Other forms as also possible, as is an infinite amount of experimentation. In this diamond-shaped format, the top and the bottom are meant to contrast with one another. It is through the middle, as the lines progress down or up, that the two merge until they get to the middle line. The four central nouns should apply to both subjects.
Diamante Poems as Instructional Tools
This poetic form is used less by poets and more by those attempting to expand their writing abilities. It is popular in school settings, creative writing workshops, and any other group where one might want to challenge their vocabulary. Plus, they are a good way of helping students get a handle on the different parts of speech. A young student will come to understand what exactly a verb is and how they can think of more.
These poems allow the writer to make connections between two subjects that they might not have initially conceived of. The connecting lines, two through six, help this to occur.
How to Write a Diamante Poem
1) Consider the format, rules, and expectations
It is crucial, before beginning any formatted poem to have a full understanding of what is appropriate to that format and what is not. The diamond-shaped form that’s written above is a great place to start.
After looking over the format that one is going to be working with it is time to pick a subject. The subject matter is slightly more restricted with diamante poems than it is with other forms. You will need to select two subjects that can be set as opposites. Some examples include:
And many many more.
3) The parts of speech
It might be helpful, especially if you are new to considering the parts of speech, to look over what a verb, noun, and adjective are before beginning. Therefore you’ll have a clear understanding of the kinds of words you need to come up with.
Verb: a word used to describe an action, state, or occurrence. For example, think, jump, run, dance, play.
Noun: a person, place, thing, or idea. For example, doctor, mother, China, cellphone.
Adjective: a word or phrase that names an attribute. For example, beautiful, ugly, brilliant, lazy.
4) Collect your words
Now, it is time to start collecting. In the traditional form of a diamante poem, it is necessary to have adjectives, nouns, and verbs that apply to both your subjects. The easiest way to do this is to make a list and put on it every noun, verb, and adjective you can think of that applies to your topic.
5) Narrow it down and arrange the words
Choose the correct number of verbs, adjectives, and nouns for your lines. This will allow you to move forward, arrange the words on the page, switch them around, and see what feels right.
Example of a Diamante Poem
- Line one: Cat
- Line two: Proud, Assured
- Line three: Stalking, Sleeping, Watching
- Line four: Feral, Tortoiseshell, Calico, Persian
- Line five: Running, Jumping, Playing
- Line six: Soft, Little
- Line seven: Kitten
When these lines are arranged in the traditional diamond format they would look like this:
Stalking, Sleeping, Watching
Feral, Tortoiseshell, Calico, Persians
Running, Jumping, Playing