The diamond poem, which is also called a diamante, is a relatively new form of poetry. Many credit Iris Tiedt with its development in the late 1960s. Due to the short nature of the poems, the fact that they create a pleasing diamond shape, and the fact that they enhance knowledge of language through specific word choice, many children will learn to write these poems as early as upper elementary school. Even without terrific poetic gifts, it can be fun to compose a diamante.
In addition to studying shape, these poems study contrast. The first word of the poem, which is a noun, should be near opposite to the last word, and both of these lines are one-word lines. Line two uses two adjectives to modify the noun in line one, and line three is made up of three verbs that end in ing, and modify line one’s noun.
Line four of a diamante is an interesting mix of four nouns. The first two should refer to the first word of the poem and the second two refer to the last word, transitioning the poem to the opposite concept. This in then followed in line five by three more participles (ing verbs), in line six by two more adjectives, and in line seven by the final noun.
With pencil or pen or paper, it’s fairly easy to make the diamante appear diamond shaped. Yet word length choice can cause slightly irregularity in appearance. When typing a diamante, it may not even be recognized as such, unless a person centers the poem. The characteristic diamond or parallelogram form should thus appear.
Writing a diamante can draw on use of vocabulary and on knowledge of grammar. These are often topics being introduced to third through sixth graders. Of course the greater the vocabulary, the more likely these poems will be successful, not just as a language exercise but also as a poetic one. Ease at which these poems can be produced has sometimes been criticized by poets as making the poems of less value. In addition to that, subject matter must be limited to contrasting material.
Nevertheless, it can be fun to compose one of these, even if they are not high art. The example below serves as inspiration to try one out, and as proof that they can be quickly composed.