This media file is in the public domain in the United States. This applies to U.S. works where the copyright has expired, often because its first publication occurred prior to January 1, 1923.

hitch a ride to nowhere
surprise us when we get there please

Inspired by the 1989 song Here Comes Your Man by the Pixies, I wrote boxcar while exploring different styles of poetry. Boxcar is an example of cinquain, a form of poetry created by American poet Adelaide Crapsey. Her collection titled Verses contained 28 cinquains and was published in 1915, one year after her death.

A cinquain consists of five lines of verse. Each line contains a specific number of syllables or words. Lines may be made up of short phrases or single words which stand alone. The modern version of the cinquain contains a set word count and uses specific types of words:

Line 1 is one word title or topic (noun)
Line 2 is two words describing the topic (adjectives)
Line 3 is three words telling the action sometimes a phrase (verbs)
Line 4 is four words expressing a feeling relating to topic often a phrase
Line 5 is one word recalling the topic (usually synonyms)

Boxcar is an example of traditional cinquain. The traditional cinquain is less structured and is based on syllable count alone:

Line 1 is 2 syllables
Line 2 is 4 syllables
Line 3 is 6 syllables
Line 4 is 8 syllables
Line 5 is 2 syllables

While Boxcar is easily my favorite, here are two more written in modern cinquain form.

mean, destructive
masquerading as truth
fibber feels no shame

spiritual enlightening
meandering invisible paths
sacred songline restores soul

This file has been (or is hereby) released into the public domain by its author, Exxu at the German Wikipedia project. This applies worldwide.


About Susan Warren Utley

Susan Warren Utley is a wife and mother living and writing in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Her stories are inspired by the unexpected twists and turns of real life and by her muse, a feisty Jack Russell Terrier who occasionally answers to the name of Lucy. View all posts by Susan Warren Utley

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