Types Of Poems

  1. Acrostic

Acrostic Poetry is where the first letter of each line spells a word, usually using the same words as in the title.

        2. Ballad

A short narrative poem with stanzas of two or four lines and usually a refrain. The story of a ballad can originate from a wide range of subject matter but most frequently deals with folk-lore or popular legends. They are written in straight-forward verse, seldom with detail, but always with graphic simplicity and force. Most ballads are suitable for singing and, while sometimes varied in practice, are generally written in ballad meter, i.e., alternating lines of iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter, with the last words of the second and fourth lines rhyming.


Cinquain is a short, usually unrhymed poem consisting of twenty-two syllables distributed as 2, 4, 6, 8, 2, in five lines. It was developed by the Imagist poet, Adelaide Crapsey. Another form, sometimes used by school teachers to teach grammar, is as follows:

Line 1: Noun

Line 2: Description of Noun

Line 3: Action

Line 4: Feeling or Effect

Line 5: Synonym of the initial noun.


A Clerihew is a comic verse consisting of two couplets and a specific rhyming scheme, aabb invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875-1956) at the age of 16. The poem is about/deals with a person/character within the first rhyme. In most cases, the first line names a person, and the second line ends with something that rhymes with the name of the person.


A Diamante is a seven-lined contrast poem set up in a diamond shape. The first line begins with a noun/subject, and second line contains two adjectives that describe the beginning noun. The third line contains three words ending in -ing relating to the noun/subject. The forth line contains two words that describe the noun/subject and two that describe the closing synonym/antonym. If using an antonym for the ending, this is where the shift should occur. In the fifth line are three more -ing words describing the ending antonym/synonym, and the sixth are two more adjectives describing the ending antonym/synonym. The last line ends with the first noun's antonym or synonym.To make it a bit simpler, here is a diagram.

Line 1: Noun or subject

Line 2: Two Adjectives describing the first noun/subect

Line 3: Three -ing words describing the first noun/subect

Line 4: Four words: two about the first noun/subect, two about the antonym/synonym

Line 5: Three -ing words about the antonym/synonym

Line 6: Two adjectives describing the antonym/synonym

Line 7: Antonym/synonym for the subject

        6.Didactic Poetry

Didactic Poetry is a form of poetry intended for instruction such as for knowledge or to teach.


An Epic is a long narrative poem celebrating the adventures and achievements of a hero...epics deal with the traditions, mythical or historical, of a nation.examples: Beowulf, The Iliad and the Odyssey, and Aeneid


An epitaph is a brief poem inscribed on a tombstone praising a deceased person, usually with rhyming lines.


Epigrams are short satirical poems ending with either a humorous retort or a stinging punchline. Used mainly as expressions of social criticism or political satire, the most common forms are written as a couplet: a pair of rhymed lines in the same meter.

Practioners of this poetic expression include John Dunne, Ben Jonson, William Blake and Robert Frost.


An epitaph is a brief poem inscribed on a tombstone praising a deceased person, usually with rhyming lines.


The poetry form, Etheree, consists of 10 lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 syllables. Etheree can also be reversed and written 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Get creative and write an Etheree with more than one verse, but follow suit with an inverted syllable count.

Reversed Etheree: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Double Etheree: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10, 9, 8, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

...Triple Etheree, Quadruple Etheree, and so on!

Free Verse

Free Verse is an irregular form of poetry in which the content free of traditional rules of versification, (freedom from fixed meter or rhyme).In moving from line to line, the poet's main consideration is where to insert line breaks. Some ways of doing this include breaking the line where there is a natural pause or at a point of suspense for the reader. Following the direction of Walt Whitman, Ezra Pound and T.S.Eliot, many modern day poets use this particular form of expression.


A Ghazal is a poem that is made up like an odd numbered chain of couplets, where each couplet is an independent poem. It should be natural to put a comma at the end of the first line. The Ghazal has a refrain of one to three words that repeat, and an inline rhyme that preceedes the refrain.

Lines 1 and 2, then every second line, has this refrain and inline rhyme, and the last couplet should refer to the authors pen-name... The rhyming scheme is AA bA cA dA eA etc.


Most popular definition, but there is more to haiku than meets the eye:

Haiku (also called nature or seasonal haiku) is an unrhymed Japanese verse consisting of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables (5, 7, 5) or 17 syllables in all. Haiku is usually written in the present tense and focuses on nature (seasons). The 5/7/5 rule was made up for school children to understand and learn this type of poetry.

For an in depth description of Haiku, please visit the Shadow Poetry

Haiku, Senryu, and Tanka

section. There is much more to haiku than the made up 5/7/5 version.


A Kyrielle is a French form of rhyming poetry written in quatrains (a stanza consisting of 4 lines), and each quatrain contains a repeating line or phrase as a refrain (usually appearing as the last line of each stanza). Each line within the poem consists of only eight syllables. There is no limit to the amount of stanzas a Kyrielle may have, but three is considered the accepted minimum.

Some popular rhyming schemes for a Kyrielle are: aabB, ccbB, ddbB, with B being the repeated line, or abaB, cbcB, dbdB.Mixing up the rhyme scheme is possible for an unusual pattern of: axaZ, bxbZ, cxcZ, dxdZ, etc. with Z being the repeated line.

The rhyme pattern is completely up to the poet.

Kyrielle Sonnet

A Kyrielle Sonnet consists of 14 lines (three rhyming quatrain stanzas and a non-rhyming couplet). Just like the traditional Kyrielle poem, the Kyrielle Sonnet also has a repeating line or phrase as a refrain (usually appearing as the last line of each stanza). Each line within the Kyrielle Sonnet consists of only eight syllables. French poetry forms have a tendency to link back to the beginning of the poem, so common practice is to use the first and last line of the first quatrain as the ending couplet. This would also re-enforce the refrain within the poem. Therefore, a good rhyming scheme for a Kyrielle Sonnet would be: AabB, ccbB, ddbB, AB-or- AbaB, cbcB, dbdB, AB.


The Lanturne is a five-line verse shaped like a Japanese lantern with a syllabic pattern of one,

two, three, four, one.


A Limerick is a rhymed humorous or nonsense poem of five lines which originated in Limerick, Ireland.

The Limerick has a set rhyme scheme of : a-a-b-b-a with a syllable structure of: 9-9-6-6-9.

The rhythm of the poem should go as follows:

Lines 1, 2, 5: weak, weak, STRONG, weak, weak, STRONG, weak, weak, STRONG, weak, weak

Lines 3, 4: weak, weak, STRONG, weak, weak, STRONG, weak, weak

Minute Poetry

The Minute Poem is rhyming verse form consisting of 12 lines of 60 syllables written in strict iambic meter. The poem is formatted into 3 stanzas of 8,4,4,4; 8,4,4,4; 8,4,4,4 syllables.

The rhyme scheme is as follows: aabb, ccdd, eeff

Mirrored Refrain

The Mirrored Refrain is rhyming verse form constructed by