Poetry Forms

vkoNmo

Yes, let’s gain energy from the stars and write poetry…poetry is energy.

  1. Blank verse. Blank verse is poetry written with a precise meter—almost always iambic pentameter—that does not rhyme. Learn more about blank verse here.
  2. Rhymed poetry. In contrast to blank verse, rhymed poems rhyme by definition, although their scheme varies. Learn more about rhymed poetry here.
  3. Free verse. Free verse poetry is poetry that lacks a consistent rhyme scheme, metrical pattern, or musical form. Learn more about free verse here.
  4. Epics. An epic poem is a lengthy, narrative work of poetry. These long poems typically detail extraordinary feats and adventures of characters from a distant past. Learn more about epics here.
  5. Narrative poetry. Similar to an epic, a narrative poem tells a story. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” and Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” exemplify this form. Learn more about narrative poetry here.
  6. Haiku. A haiku is a three-line poetic form originating in Japan. The first line has five syllables, the second line has seven syllables, and the third line again has five syllables. Learn more about haikus here.
  7. Pastoral poetry. A pastoral poem is one that concerns the natural world, rural life, and landscapes. These poems have persevered from Ancient Greece (in the poetry of Hesiod) to Ancient Rome (Virgil) to the present day (Gary Snyder). Learn more about pastoral poetry here.
  8. Sonnet. A sonnet is a 14 line poem, typically (but not exclusively) concerning the topic of love. Sonnets contain internal rhymes within their 14 lines; the exact rhyme scheme depends on the style of a sonnet. Learn about Petrarchan sonnets here. Learn about Shakespearean sonnets here.
  9. Elegies. An elegy is a poem that reflects upon death or loss. Traditionally, it contains themes of mourning, loss, and reflection. However, it can also explore themes of redemption and consolation. Learn more about elegies here.
  10. Ode. Much like an elegy, an ode is a tribute to its subject, although the subject need not be dead—or even sentient, as in John Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn”. Learn more about odes here.
  11. Limerick. A limerick is a five-line poem that consists of a single stanza, an AABBA rhyme scheme, and whose subject is a short, pithy tale or description. Learn more about limericks here.
  12. Lyric poetry. Lyric poetry refers to the broad category of poetry that concerns feelings and emotion. This distinguishes it from two other poetic categories: epic and dramatic. Learn more about lyric poetry here.
  13. Ballad. A ballad (or ballade) is a form of narrative verse that can be either poetic or musical. It typically follows a pattern of rhymed quatrains. From John Keats to Samuel Taylor Coleridge to Bob Dylan, it represents a melodious form of storytelling. Learn more about ballads here.
  14. Soliloquy. A soliloquy is a monologue in which a character speaks to him or herself, expressing inner thoughts that an audience might not otherwise know. Soliloquies are not definitionally poems, although they often can be—most famously in the plays of William Shakespeare. Learn more about soliloquies here.
  15. Villanelle. A nineteen-line poem consisting of five tercets and a quatrain, with a highly specified internal rhyme scheme. Originally a variation on a pastoral, the villanelle has evolved to describe obsessions and other intense subject matters, as exemplified by Dylan Thomas, author of villanelles like “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.”

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