Different Types of Poetry

Poetry is an expression of the self, a way of using words to draw upon ideas of the mind or express something that is felt deeply within the soul. Here is information about different types of poetry.
| Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Poetry has always fascinated me, even as a child I saw it as a medium to break free from the world I was confined to and use words to build a place or thing that I wanted to be in or possess instead. Even today when I stare at a white sheet of paper or an empty word document and I feel words trying to come out of my being. You cannot go wrong with poetry because there are different types, read on for most of the different types of poetry.

Acrostic: Acrostic poetry is one that contains certain letters, which are usually placed at the beginning of each line. These letters form a message or word when they are read in a sequence.

Ballad: This type of poetry is short and narrative and is made up of stanzas of two to four lines. Ballads usually have a refrain. They also deal mostly with folklore or popular trends though some also originate from a wide range of subject matter. The verses in ballads are straight-forward and seldom have any detail. Apart from that, ballads always possess graphic simplicity and force.

Blank Verse: A blank verse is written in unrhymed iambic pentameter. This form is a little like the rhythms of speech.

Burlesque: In this kind of poetry a subject that is serious in nature is treated as humor.

Cinquain: A cinquain is short poem that is made up of five lines that are usually unrhymed. These five lines contain two, four, six, eight and two syllables respectively.

Clerihew: This type of poetry is made up of a comic verse that has two couplets and a specific rhyming scheme.

Didactic Poetry: Didactic poems are poems that are written in order to instruct or teach.

Epic: This type of poem is long and narrative in nature. It talks about the adventures of a hero. Epics usually deal with the history and traditions of a nation.

Epigram: Practiced by poets like Robert Frost, William Blake and Ben Jonson, epigrams are short poems that possess satire. This type of poetry ends with a stinging punchline or humorous retort. Common forms of epigrams are written as a couplet.

Epitaph: A short poem with rhyming lines written on a tombstone in praise of a deceased person is called an epitaph.

Elegy: This type of poetry is sad and thoughtful in nature. They talk about the death of an individual.

Fable: A poetic story that is made up of verse or prose with a moral at the end is called a fable. In fables, animals are usually used to teach a lesson.

Free Verse: Like the name suggests, free verse is poetry that is irregular. This type of poetry has content which is free from the traditional rules of using verse.

Ghazal: A Ghazal refers to a poem that contains an odd number chain of couplets. In this scenario each couplet is a poem on it own. In a Ghazal it is natural to put a comma instead of a full stop at the end of the first line.

Haiku: Also known by other names such as seasonal or nature haiku, this type of poetry is made up of unrhymed Japanese verse. This verse consists of three unrhymed lines which are then made up of five, seven and five syllables or 17 syllables on the whole. This form of poetry is mostly written in the present tense and lays its focus on nature.

Kyrielle: A French form of poetry that is written in quatrains i.e. a 14 line stanza is known as a Kyrielle. In this type of poetry each quatrain is made up of a repeating phrase or line as a refrain. Each line that forms a part of a Kyrielle consists of eight syllables. The rhyming pattern in a Kyrielle depends on the poet.

Lanturne: A five-line verse that resembles a Japanese lantern is called a lanturne. This type of poetry has a one, two, three, four, one syllabic pattern.

Limerick: This form of poetry originated in Limerick, Ireland and is used to refer to a rhymed humorous poem which is made up of five lines.

Monody: A monody is a poem in which a person expresses remorse over another’s death.

Monorhyme: In this type of poetry all the lines are made up of the same end rhyme.

Nonet: In a nonet there are nine lines of which the first lines had nine syllables, the second eight. This pattern continues until line nine which is made up of only one syllable. Nonet’s can be written on any subject and rhyming is a matter of choice.

Ode: A poem that is written in praise of a place, thing or person, is known as an ode.

Palindrome: Also known as mirrored poetry, a palindrome poem is one that remains the same whether read forwards or backwards.

Quatrain: This type of poetry is made up of four lines of verse that have a specific scheme of rhyming.

Rispetto: Like the name suggests, a Rispetto is an Italian form of poetry. This form is poetry is a complete poem that has two rhyme quatrains that have a strict meter.

Sonnet: A poem that is made up of 14 lines and a particular rhyming scheme is called a sonnet.

Tanka: The tanka is a form of Japanese poetry that is related to the haiku. This type of poetry is made five unrhymed lines that have the following number of syllables, five, seven, five, seven and seven syllables.

Verse: This word is used to refer to a single line of metrical poetry.

Villanelle: The villanelle is poem that is made up of 19 lines. These lines consist of five tercets as also a final quatrain on two rhymes. In the first tercet the first as well as the third lines repeat alternatively as a refrain. This closes the succeeding stanzas and is joined as the final couplet of the quatrain.
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