Diamantes are a special kind of poem that get their names from the French word diamant, which means “diamond.” That’s because Diamante poems are seven-line poems shaped like diamonds. Their shape is built by using a specific number of words in each line, something like this.
First line = one word
Second line = two words, two words
Third line = three words, three words, three words
Fourth line = four words, four words, four words, four words
Fifth line = three words, three words, three word
Sixth line = two words, two words
Seventh line = one word
As you can see, this kind of poem starts with a one- word line, but keeps adding words so that the lines get longer. The fourth line is the longest line (with its four words). After that, the lines get shorter again until the last line, which is again only a one-word line.
Diamantes do not have to rhyme, but they do use specific kinds of words in each line. The kinds or types of words used in each line are:
Line 1 = one noun (person, place, thing, or idea)
Line 2 = two adjectives (describing words)
Line 3 = three gerunds (these are action words ending in -ing)
Line 4 = four nouns
Line 5 = three gerunds
Line 6 = two adjectives
Line 7 = one noun
The specific words used are about special topics or themes and generally follow a pattern of sorts. Most diamantes are written about opposites like night and day, hot and cold, or work and play. These are called antonym (another word for opposite) diamantes. Here’s an example of an antonym diamante:
resting, sleeping, dreaming
moon, stars, sky, sun
waking, playing, doing
Look at how all the words in the first three lines describe night and all the words in the last three lines describe day. Look too how the words in the fourth line change from being words about night (moon, stars) to words that are about day (sky sun). This is a trick you want to remember when writing antonym diamantes: use the middle line to begin changing your describing words from being about the first word to being about the last word in your poem.
While most diamantes are about opposites, they can also be written about similar things. These are known as synonym diamantes. An example is:
jumping , licking, playing
Frisbees, balls, bones, leash
Eating, barking, walking
Even though puppy and dog are similar, they are not the same. Again, look at how the describing words in the last half of the poem change—this time just a little bit. In the first part of the poem the words describe a puppy, but in the second half of the poem the words seem better for describing a grown dog.
Diamantes can also be used to define a single word in different ways. Here is an example of a definition diamante.
smoking, sparking, burning
cigarettes, forests, campfires, ovens
heating, warming, cooking
Again, look at how the poem uses the middle line to begin to change the description of fire from a dangerous thing to being something helpful. In poetry, this changer is called “a turn” and it is a very important part of writing diamantes. A good turn in your poem will make your diamante sparkle like a diamond!
Now you try writing a diamante or two. Send your best ones to us at Magic Dragon. We’d love to see them and might even publish them.