I definitely qualify as a word nerd, or, the word nerd in the family; well, I love words whether or not I really know a ton of them (I know a fair amount though I don’t use as many as I would like to more often). Anyways, I truly enjoy word play, and figuring out what words might mean as I read them. Most often, I understand new words by context (what about you?). And some of my favorite type of games to play are word games!
So, when I realized it is Word Nerd Day on the 9th of January, I simply had to look for a poetic form that might, kind of, fit this theme. While I am not sure if the form I picked is perfect, a word nerd can definitely challenge themselves into coming up with many poems for the same pairing of words (you’ll see what I mean soon enough)
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Poetic Sundays: The Diamante For the Word Nerd
Looks like I missed mentioning in last week’s Scribblings that January 9th is Word Nerd Day. So I am fixing that by saying it now, and by picking a poetic form that might appeal to word nerds! In addition, it is also diamond shaped, which is also one of the more common shapes (or at least, the first one that comes to mind) for a kite; and it is International Kite Day on the 14th of January!
What is the Diamante Poetic Form?
A diamante is an unrhymed, seven-line poem that achieves its diamond-shaped by the number of words per line, and then centering the poem on the page. The name comes from the Italian word for diamond, which is diamante. An American poet named Iris McClellan Tiedt created this poetic form in 1969, and it has been a popular form to introduce poetry to younger kids in schools since.
There are two types of diamante poems: the synonym diamante, and the antonym diamante. We will look at how to write the diamante in more detail below.
The Diamante Poetic Form’s Characteristics
So the diamante poetic form’s elements are that at its most basic, it is:
- stanzaic: is a single stanza of seven-lines
- word-based: 1-2-3-4-3-2-1 / noun, adjectives, verbs, nouns, verbs, adjectives, noun ((number of words and the part of speech for each line);
- unrhymed (but nowhere does it state, from what I could find, that it cannot be rhymed – so the poet can do what they wish)
- variations: can be a synonym or antonym diamante
So this is how it looks
Verb, Verb, Verb
Noun, Noun, Noun, Noun
Verb, Verb, Verb
L2: 2 adj
L3: 3 verbs
L4: 4 nouns
L5: 3 verbs
L6: 2 adj
Basic Rules to Keep in Mind
- Line One: Pick any noun
- For Line Two: Pick two adjectives that describe the word in line one
- Line Three: Select any three ‘-ing’ verbs related to the noun in line one
- For Line Four: Pick four nouns; the first two relating to the line one noun, and the second two relating to the line two noun (they will all be related to each other in a synonym diamante, in contrast to the antonym diamante)
- Line Five: Like in line three, pick any three ‘-ing’ verbs related to the noun in line seven this time
- For Line Six: Similar to line two; select two adjectives that describe the noun in line seven
- Line Seven: Noun (which will be the same in meaning to the line one noun in a synonym diamante; and its opposite in an antonym diamante)
Tips to Write a Diamante (or challenge the word nerd within)
- First, pick the subject of your poem; the noun that will be your line one word. It can be any noun at all, like coffee, dog, kite, or poem
- Second, decide if you want to write an antonym or synonym diamante. This will help you pick the line seven noun, and set the flow of the poem, especially for line four.
- Third, when you have the nouns for lines one and seven, write down all the other nouns, adjectives, and ‘-ing’ verbs (or participles) you can think of for them keeping the rules above in mind. You can put them in two columns for the line one and line seven nouns to make it easier.
- Lastly, when you have enough words to use for your diamante, arrange them all in the specified format, and you have your poem
I am reusing a synonym diamante I wrote years ago (when I first learned about the form thanks to my then elementary-school son’s school assignment)
stretching, moving, covering
eras, epochs, occasions, moments
zooming, zipping, zapping
~ Vidya Tiru @LadyInReadWrites
Note: Line 6 of the diamante – the ‘minute’ here is the one with the definition – very short time: a very short period of time; while the ‘minute’ in line 7 refers to 60 seconds:)
h/t, References, and Further Reading
- Wikipedia’s Diamante page
Related Posts and Book Lists for a Word Nerd
- This One is All About Words
- 35 Words That Used to Mean Something Completely Different Before
- 15 Cool Words Every Book Lover Should Know
- Bean Playing With Words & Always Love It
- Will’s Words: Or The Wondrous Words of Will
- Ten Books for People Who Love Words and Language
On My Blog
My recent posts since and including my last Sunday Scribblings:
- The Art of Letter Writing: Dear Reader, With Love
- Be the Change You Want to See
- The Wondrous Monarch Butterfly Grove at Pismo Beach
- Amazing Women Pioneers Who Soared Through the Skies
- Most Anticipated Reads of the First Half of 2022
- Magic Monday – East or West, Home is Best!
- Sunday Scribblings #90: To a Wonderful Thriving Twenty Twenty Two
And At Home
We got our boosters, well my husband and I did. After having canceled our previous appointments in December due to sickness, we finally drove down on Saturday to the location of our appointment. When we saw the long line of cars (a couple of blocks long from two directions), we almost drove back home. It was then that I noticed another entrance to the hospital which has a shorter line of cars. Thankfully we decided to follow those cars.
As it turned out, the really lengthy lines were actually for Covid testing (which is a drive-through in most locations here for our provider – Kaiser). While the line for the vaccination was much shorter, we still ended up standing in line for an hour before our turn. That said, it was amazing to see how cheerful and patient the staff were, despite the long hours and the chill weather (it was in an outdoor location under a tented area).
Another wonderful result of having stayed there and taken our chance, we ended up at a local Mexican grocery store. Thanks to my husband getting tempted to buy some fruits (spiced with salt and chili that we normally see the Hispanic fruit vendors selling from their carts) after seeing another person, also in line with us, eating those!!! Well, long story short, we looked for a local store (this location was about 15 miles from our home) and spent over an hour buying everything else but fruit!!
Turns out, this store – Chavez Supermarket – has locations closer by as well. If you live in the south bay and haven’t been here before, we highly recommend it. Very clean, with loads of options for vegetarians as well, and totally great to stock up when you want to host an authentic Mexican fiesta!! Granted, it was a tad more expensive than we expected, but definitely worth it. Though I did not care for a couple of the fresh baked goods we bought back, their freshly made sour cream and salsa was heavenly indeed.
On My Blog and Home Front
I still have many reviews that I need to post. And one that is coming here as part of a blog tour is the very unique, and very heartwarming Crushing by Sophie Burrows. Look for my spotlight and complete review on pub day which is January 11th, right here on my blog and also on social media.
As I mention below, we will be celebrating the festival of Pongal this week. Otherwise, this coming week is as usual.
This Week’s Celebrations
Literary Celebrations (close-to-it also!)
- Literary birthdays this week include: Philip Levine on the 10th of January; Diana Gabaldon and Jasper Fforde on Jan 11th; David Mitchell, Haruki Murakami, Jack London, and Julia Quinn on the 12th of January; the 13th celebrates Carolyn See; January 14th is Kaifi Azmi ; Ernest J. Gaines is on the 15th of January; Susan Sontag and Rebecca Stead on January 16th
- January 11th is National Learn Your Name In Morse Code Day to mark the date when Alfred Vail and Samuel Morse first demonstrated the code in 1838. In related news, my son recently got his HAM certification!
- The 11th also happens to be Poetry at Work Day (celebrated on the second Tuesday each January) as well as World Sketchnote Day
- Apparently, another poetic event this week with Poetry Break Day on the 13th of January
- January 15th celebrates a resource many of us know and use. It is Wikipedia Day
- Book Publishers Day is on January 16 every year
- National Bittersweet Chocolate Day is on the 10th of Jan
- Jan 11th is National Milk Day and National Hot Toddy Day
- Followed by National Marzipan Day and National Hot Tea Day on the 12th
- National Peach Melba Day is on Jan 13th
- While the 15th celebrates National Bagel Day and National Strawberry Ice Cream Day
- The 16th of January is International Hot and Spicy Food Day as well as National Fig Newton Day
- It is National Save the Eagles Day on the 10th of January
- January 11th is Heritage Treasures Day(UK)
- India celebrates National Youth Day on January 12
- The 13th is for skeptics everywhere, and if you are not one yourself, maybe you can try to be one for International Skeptics Day
- On the other hand, it (Jan 13th) apparently also is Make Your Dreams Come True Day and National Sticker Day
- It is also Public Radio Broadcasting Day as it signals the birth of public radio broadcasting when Lee de Forest transmitted the world’s first public broadcast in New York City on January 13, 1910 from the Metropolitan Opera
- January 14th is World Logic Day as well as International Kite Day (with origins in India)
- Ratification Day in the United States observes the anniversary of the congressional proclamation of the ratification of the Treaty of Paris (January 14, 1784)
- The 15th celebrates Museum Selfie Day
- World Religion Day – Third Sunday in January, which happens to coincide with National Religious Freedom Day (observed annually on January 16th each year)
- National Pizza Week – 7 Days starting 2nd Sunday
- Universal Letter Writing Week – Starts second Sunday every January
- And this week is sure to get you and your home in order; from National Clean Your Desk Day on the 10th of January to National Organize Your Home Day on the 14th. Which reminds me that I need to put away all the suitcases we used for our weekend sojourn the previous week!
- Also, kind of weird, but this week also observes National Step In A Puddle And Splash Your Friends Day on the 11th followed by National Pothole Day on the 15th
- I look forward to the multi-day celebration of the Pongal festival each year. This harvest festival (celebrated in various forms across India) is literally a down-to-earth event in our home, where we (and more specifically, farmers) give thanks to the earth, the cattle, and the sun for a rich harvest.
- Universal Letter Writing Week – so why don’t you check out my post for ideas and read some more about the art of letter writing.
And an Un-event
- It is National Nothing Day on the 16th of January, so celebrate it by doing nothing (if you so wish!)
Wrapping up my Sunday Scribblings
So dear reader, you have reached the end of this Sunday Scribblings! As always, I welcome your thoughts, comments, and suggestions about this post. Do you consider yourself to be a word nerd? And do let me know if you plan to celebrate any of these mentioned celebrations this coming week/month?