A diamond poem, or diamante poem, represents a very specific, stylistic poem that, when completed, forms a visual shape that resembles a diamond. It describes two contrasting nouns, and has a particular structure that needs to be followed in order for it to be a true diamond poem. It does not need to rhyme, and in fact usually does not, though some people do attempt to write rhyming diamond poems. Some people like to challenge themselves to write these certain types of poems, similar to haikus, to see if they can stay within the parameters while still creating an interesting piece of writing.
The structure of a diamond poem is, naturally, what makes it so unique. It is important to remember that it is not just a series of words written in the shape of a diamond, however. Each line makes up a different part of speech, and there are only seven lines in every diamante poem. The first line and the last line are a single word: the two opposite nouns that will be compared throughout the rest of the poem. The second line is made up of two adjectives that describe the first noun, and the sixth line is made up of two adjectives that describe the second.
Progressing down the structure of the poem, the third line and the fifth line are made up of verbs that describe their respective nouns. Each line will contain three verbs that end in -ing; the third line describes the first noun, and the fifth line describes the second. The fourth line is the only line in the poem that describes shared characteristics of the two nouns being compared. It is made up of four different nouns that describe the subjects of the poem. This is the entire structure of the diamond poem, and when followed carefully, it will end up in the shape of a diamond.
It may seem like a challenge to follow these specific rules and write a diamond poem, and it is. There are a number of different examples and instructions to be found online, though, and with a little practice it will become easier. Teachers often find that having students write diamond poems is a great way to get them to learn and practice their different parts of speech, because it will be necessary for students to demonstrate that they know the difference between nouns, adjectives, and verbs.