Tuesday Tryouts: Poetry Diamonds

07 Jun

8:04 a.m. — Atlanta

Hello, dear readers. How are you?

If you have not played with diamantes before, you are in for a treat. This is a form which can be completed and left as is, or can lead to another poem. No rhyme, or counting of syllables, involved…BUT you do have to know your parts of speech. So, for those who may not have been taught grammar, I shall provide brief descriptions, but as a writer, it’s good to know the names of the different parts of the language [sounds like I’m segueing into Thursday Thoughts!].

I have a template and then I shall go through the terms, and then I shall give you an example. First, you need to collect some nouns and come up with their opposites.You can use complete opposites: fire and ice, mountain and valley, cat and dog; or, you can work with an evolution: kitten and cat, but that’s not quite as easy. An interesting possibility is to place people at either end. A friend of mine wrote a diamante where she placed me and herself at opposites. It might be fun to place historical figures against each other…

Template [which in my preview refuses to centre. If my final post has the template aligned left, when you type it, centre the seven lines. My example diamante shows you how it should look – don’t ask me why that centres with no problem!]:

A Seven-Line Diamante

(subject noun)

_______________     _______________

_______________     _______________     _______________

_______________     _______________     _______________     _______________
(nouns related to the subject which begin to shift meaning)

_______________     _______________     _______________
(participles indicating change toward a new subject)

_______________     _______________
(adjectives continuing the idea of change)

(noun, opposite of subject)

Line 1:         Noun, the opposite of Line 7                                     noun: a person, place, or thing
Line 2:         2 adjectives describing the noun in Line 1                  adjective: word that describes a noun
Line 3:         3 verbs ending in –ing related to Line 1                       verb: action word + ing = gerund
Line 4:         2 nouns about Line 1 and 2 nouns about Line 7          begin shift towards end noun
Line 5:         3 verbs ending in –ing related to Line 7
Line 6:         2 adjectives describing Line 7
Line 7:         Noun, the opposite of Line 1


chaste untouched
waxing waning spinning
awaking asleeping asleeping awaking
blazing renewing burning
fiery untouchable

Possibilities after playing with original:

Moon Sun
chaste    burning
untouched    untouchable
waxing the skies    renewing life
with waning night    from fiery ashes
spinning lives    blazing phoenix
a sleeping    a waking
a waking…    a sleeping…
blazing phoenix    spinning lives
from fiery ashes    with waning night
renewing life    waxing the skies
untouchable    untouched
burning    chaste
Sun     Moon

Go forth and collect pairs and play.

If you have questions, do ask. If you want me to tackle something specific for Tuesdays or Thursday, feel free to say. If you come up with a diamante, or a diamante pushed further, I would love to see it. If you know anyone who would enjoy this, click on the buttons below.

I shall see you Thursday for the last of the nuisance words; Friday for the roundup of prompts and exercises; and next Tuesday for…well, we’ll see. Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 07/06/2011 in exercises, poetry, writing


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

27 responses to “Tuesday Tryouts: Poetry Diamonds

  1. Sharp Little Pencil

    07/06/2011 at 11:02 am

    Margo, I wish I could promise to “go forth and multiply, divide, and add words,” especially because I do love grammar; however, I’m afraid I’m stuck in free verse at the moment.

    This is a helpful, very detailed example of a form, and I will cut and paste to keep for future possibilities. If I can come up with one HALF as good as yours, I’ll give you credit for introducing me to the form! Amy

  2. margo roby

    07/06/2011 at 11:06 am

    I do love comments from you, Amy. They invariably draw a laugh. I love the vision of you multiplying diamantes.
    Free verse is my preferred style. But forms challenge me and some of them are fun.

  3. vivinfrance

    07/06/2011 at 11:32 am

    This will be fun, when I can give it my full attention. (House guests expected any minute and a leg of pork to cook with all the trimmings)

    First question, are extra words limited to conjunctions, prepositions etc, or can we be a bit more verbose. I have done my first attempt, but it seems awfully stark. Please tell me if I’m going in the right direction.

    sensational chance-met,
    smiling, greeting, approaching
    rapport of friendship or suspicion of duplicity
    surprizing, puzzling
    in a stranger

  4. margo roby

    07/06/2011 at 11:41 am

    Oh…a pork loin. My mouth is watering.

    For a pure diamante, no extra words. But, once you start playing, you can do anything you want to make it work for you, including changing line breaks, removing words, changing word forms.

    I enjoy the diamante for making me think differently about relationships, but then I want to take it and turn it into something fuller. So be as verbose as your poem calls for.

    Yours is an interesting pairing and I can see it might lead to a fuller story.

  5. ladynimue

    07/06/2011 at 1:03 pm

    I have a doubt ..
    you said line 4 is 2 noun for first and 2 nous for last line ..
    and then you wrote this as line 4 – awaking asleeping asleeping awaking

    this is no noun ! *confused*
    but sure a good form .. i realize i wrote this before without knowing the name !! will write agian and link back 🙂

  6. margo roby

    07/06/2011 at 1:19 pm

    My apologies, Lady N. I was recreating the diamante backwards from the poem I took it to. You are correct. I am glad you caught that.
    I went back and looked at my notes and I had: lives asleep ashes phoenix, which is still a problem because asleep is not a noun. I think I was already shifting into my idea of the further poem.
    Thank you. I hope you always let me know when you have questions and comments.
    I look forward to your diamante. 🙂

  7. wordsandthoughts

    07/06/2011 at 1:43 pm

    Margo, I love this form. Looks like fun! I love your poems. I never did finish last week’s poem. It is still in the works. I may try this one first. I spent most of my free time yesterday setting up a wordpress site. There are so many gadgets in wp. It will take a while to figure it out.


    • margo roby

      07/06/2011 at 2:02 pm

      One caveat, Pamela. Thankfully one of my readers caught it. In the fourth line where there are supposed to be four nouns, I have four gerunds. So ignore my example. I was trying to recreate the diamante backwards from my evolution of it. I think the nouns I had were: lives dream ashes phoenix, but the important thing is two nouns associated with the first line and two turning towards the last line.
      wp does have a lot. I spent days reading everything I could in their help section. Steep learning curve for me. I still don’t know how to do a lot of stuff I see on other blogs. Good luck with yours. I look forward to seeing it. I notice you have it blocked at present while you play 🙂

  8. 1sojournal

    07/06/2011 at 10:20 pm

    Interesting form and will definitely have a try at it. Your fuller piece reminded me of the cleave poem Pamela used last week for the collab. Or am I way off base? Anyway I’ve been using WordPress for several years and don’t know the whole of it yet. Just know I do enjoy it and the willing support that it offers.


  9. margo roby

    08/06/2011 at 8:18 am

    Elizabeth, hopefully, you read my comment to Pamela? If so you have my ooops!; if not do because I clearly wasn’t watching my own parts of speech. I hadn’t thought of Pamela’s cleave poem but it is similar. At the time I wrote it I was going for the cyclical nature of rising and setting so I reversed the diamante and placed them together [along with ignoring parts of speech at this point].
    There is a lot of wordpress to know, isn’t there? I know much exists beyond my technological boundaries, but it’s an enjoyable place to fall down and pick myself up again.


  10. anjum wasim dar

    08/06/2011 at 2:21 pm

    I have chosen the Festival of EID and before that comes the month of Fasting called Ramazan

    Colorful joyous
    praying meeting eating
    bangles sweets fast Dates
    fasting waiting abstaining
    Holy Valuable

    • margo roby

      08/06/2011 at 2:29 pm

      I am enjoying seeing the choices people are making. Choosing the two polar aspects of that time of the religious year is certainly interesting, Anjum.

  11. anjum wasim dar

    08/06/2011 at 2:48 pm

    Thank you M for the prompt reply -I thought my lines did not go through as WordPress was asking for confirmation.
    here are some more lines for you-needing your advice…

    creative expressive
    producing explaining telling
    words essay Information text
    gathering receiving entertaining
    skill experiential

  12. Susan May James

    09/06/2011 at 9:01 am

    Oh wow! This looks like fun! I must must must come back to this one! Have written it on my to-do list!

    • margo roby

      09/06/2011 at 10:03 am

      It is fun but one caveat, Susan [do you go by that, or Susan May?]. Thankfully one of my readers caught it. In the fourth line where there are supposed to be four nouns, I have four gerunds. So ignore my example. I was trying to recreate the diamante backwards from my evolution of it. I think the nouns I had were: lives dream ashes phoenix, but the important thing is two nouns associated with the first line and two turning towards the last line. Look forward to seeing what you come up with.

  13. wordsandthoughts

    09/06/2011 at 2:46 pm

    Margo, I have written two for this prompt, and will expand on them in the future. I believe I wrote them correctly?

    Life and Death

    • wordsandthoughts

      09/06/2011 at 2:51 pm

      btw Viv told me that my blog is marked “private”. I checked my settings and they seem to be in order. I have contacted the wordpress staff. Could you email me, if you have problems as well, please.


  14. margo roby

    09/06/2011 at 3:10 pm

    Interesting, Pamela. When I try to go to your site via the words and thoughts link I get the same message as Viv. But, when I click on Life and Death that link takes me to your page, so you will need to contact wp and find out what is happening. Meanwhile I am going back and reading your diamantes and will comment there!

  15. wordsandthoughts

    09/06/2011 at 4:16 pm

    Margo, I found the problem it was in the link. A long story 🙂 , but this is the correct link to the site. I am so technically challenged.

    btw have a wonderful vacation!

  16. margo roby

    09/06/2011 at 5:05 pm

    I promise you, Pamela, no more challenged than I am!
    And, thank you. I’ll be back online in a couple of days when we are settled and I have my laptop set up

  17. brenda w

    13/06/2011 at 10:00 am

    Oh Margo, these are wonderful pieces. I’ll be back to check out the tryouts tomorrow. .Fun fun fun fun, but the most wonderful thing about Tiggers is…..

  18. margo roby

    13/06/2011 at 12:02 pm

    Yay, Tiggers! I knew you and I were kin 🙂 When you come back, note that despite my example not being four nouns, the middle or turning point line should be four nouns!


  19. Annette

    18/06/2011 at 1:00 am

    I think I’m done playing with this form finally. I’ve been coming and going with it – not as easy as I thought it would be and I’m not totally happy with my results. Win some, lose some. I’m going to be gone for two weeks – traveling with my daughter – so you won’t hear from me for awhile. But I’ll be back in a few weeks!

    • margo roby

      18/06/2011 at 8:44 am

      Have a wonderful time, Annette. I would love two weeks traveling with my daughter, but it is going to be many years until she has the time. I meanwhile shall be spending a month with my mother. I’ll look for you in a few weeks. Stay safe.

  20. kvennarad

    25/06/2011 at 3:54 am

    This looks fun. I’ll take a note of it and save it for later. If anyone breathes a word about this on it’ll be al over the place like a rash! 😀

    • margo roby

      25/06/2011 at 9:08 am

      Diamantes are addicting. I admit a rash of them might get old, although catching the rash by visiting my site…:) Good to see you again. Let me see what you come up with when you get back to it.



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