For Theology of Missions and the Ministry, Church and Society courses

How to write a diamond poem

Diamante (or diamond) poetry instructions

Let's become poets

This assignment may be done alone or in pairs or in small groups.

Write a "diamond" poem that relates to a specific issue or topic discussed in class. It's called a diamond poem because the finished product is shaped like a diamond. Actually, this type of poem is more often called a diamante poem ("diamante" being the Italian word for the English word "diamond").

This seven-line type of poetry that does not rhyme was developed in 1969 by American poet Iris Tiedt. It forces you to do descriptive writing about two opposing or contrasting words. Composing a diamond poem can be an engaging word study exercise.

For a diamond poem to make the unique diamond shape, use just seven lines in which the beginning and the final lines contain just one word (usually opposites or antonyms). The middle line should be the longest line. The words used to form the resulting diamond pattern amplify the meaning of two contrasting words.

The most common way to start writing a diamond poem is to choose two noun of opposite meaning such as "ice" and "fire" or "heaven" and "hell." Then, fill in the middle 5 lines with progressively longer and then shorter lines. When completed, your diamond-shaped poem should express the contrast between two ideas or themes about which you are writing the poem.

Poem formula

Here is the formula or format for a diamond (or diamante) poem:

Here is another way of visualizing it:

Noun
Adjective, Adjective
Verb, Verb, Verb
Noun, Noun, Noun, Noun
Verb, Verb, Verb
Adjective, Adjective
Noun

Three examples:

Death
Blind, lost
Crying, wailing, searching
Cold, empty, full, warm
Hearing, believing, finding
Sight, found
Life.

written by Kim Jayne and Rodger Rushing

Lost
Confused, Scared
Sinning, lying, cheating
Doubtful, Uncertain, Certain, Confident
Accepting, Worshiping, Giving
Joyful, Compassionate
Found!

written by Jaci Bounds, Tim Reiswig and Justin Waldron

Saul
pious, hateful
hunting, arresting, persecuting
opponent, blind, converted, disciple
seeking, freeing, saving
humble, compassionate
Paul
written by Robby Seal

As you can see, the formula is: Top line: one-word topic, second line: Two adjectives, third line: Three "ing" verbs, fourth line: Two words looking backward and two forward, fifth line: Three "ing" verbs, sixth line: Two adjectives and final line: A word opposite of original topic

    -- Howard Culbertson

Theology of Missions students: Have you started on your exegesis paper?

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hereYour paper should be a careful look at one of the Biblical calls to world evangelism. [ read more ]


Are the "heathen" lost? Answers to an oft-asked question    Difficult group members    Exegesis paper instructions     PowerPoint presentations used in classes    Seeking God's will?