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Different Types of Poetry

April is Poetry Month and we will be focusing on the types of poetry, the elements of poetry, the rules to writing a good poem and how to write a poem. Today we will be looking at the different types of poems. Some poems have very strict style rules, while others are classified according to the topics they cover rather than their structure. When you’re writing poetry, keep the form you’re writing in mind as you brainstorm—with forms that involve rhyming or require a specific number of syllables, you’ll probably want to jot down a list of go-to words that fit into your chosen format before you start writing. Below are some of the most common forms of Poetry.

Free verse - anything goes. When you read a poem that doesn’t appear to fit any specific format, you’re reading free verse poetry.


“A Noiseless Patient Spider” by Walt Whitman

A noiseless patient spider, I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated, Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding, It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself, Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them. And you O my soul where you stand, Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space, Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them, Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold, Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

Sonnet - A sonnet is a fourteen-line poem that was often used by Shakespeare and Petrarch. Although a sonnet’s exact rhyme scheme varies from poem to poem, each sonnet has some kind of consistent rhyme pattern.


My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red than her lips’ red; If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. I have seen roses damask’d, red and white, But no such roses see I in her cheeks; And in some perfumes is there more delight Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks. I love to hear her speak, yet well I know That music hath a far more pleasing sound; I grant I never saw a goddess go; My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground: And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare As any she belied with false compare.

Haiku - is a three-line poem that always fits this format: The first and third lines contain five syllables and the second line contains seven syllables.

  • Line 1 contains 5 syllables

  • Line 2 contains 7 syllables

  • Line 3 contains 5 syllables


By the old temple,

peach blossoms;

a man treading rice.

Limerick - a five-line poem that follows a strict AABBA rhyme scheme. Though they often discuss humorous subjects, this isn’t a requirement—the only requirement is that it fits this precise rhyme pattern.

Example: A wonderful bird is the pelican, His bill can hold more than his beli-can. He can take in his beak Food enough for a week But I’m damned if I see how the heli-can.

—Dixon Lanier Merritt

Ode - is a poem that celebrates a person, an event, or even an object. An ode uses vivid language to describe its subject.


“Ode to the West Wind” by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Scatter, as from an unextinguish’d hearth Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind! Be through my lips to unawaken’d earth The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind? Acrostic - Here is a fun form: spell out a name, word, or phrase with the first letter of each line of your poem. Example: Preserve the high honour of poems dear, Oh poor acrostic-writer: by design, Each line of verse that you will lay down here My name discover, line by singing line. Epitaph - is the kind of poem that might appear on a gravestone, although it doesn’t have to. It’s brief and it pays tribute to a person who has passed away or commemorates some other loss.

What is your favorite type of poetry? Share with us one of your poems on our website. We would love to see what you have written for Poetry Month.

Happy Writing!

From IABX ***Source Internet

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