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.

To creatge a poem with a unique diamond shape, use 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 nouns of opposite meanings, 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:

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

Three examples:

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

written by Kim Jayne and Rodger Rushing

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

written by Jaci Bounds, Tim Reiswig and Justin Waldron

pious, hateful
hunting, arresting, persecuting
opponent, blind, converted, disciple
seeking, freeing, saving
humble, compassionate
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,

A few more creative learning projects