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Poetry Styles
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There are quite a few styles to use when writing poetry. These styles make poetry reading fun, interesting, and unique. There's such joy awaits you when you read or write poetry.

Acrostic - a poem in which the first letter of each line spells out a word or name vertically on the left side. The title of the acrostic poem is usually the word or name spelled out in the poem.

Ballad - a poem that is a narrative and often tragic.

Clerihew - a four-line funny biographical poem. A poem written about someone you know. There is no specific count of syllables or words. The 1st & 2nd line rhymes, and the 3rd & 4th line rhymes.

Cinquain - a five-line stanza that does not rhyme.

Couplet - usually a two-line verse that rhyme and have the same metre.


Didatic - a minor division of poetry that teaches.

Epic - a poem that is long and deal with heroic action.

Epigram - a poem that is written short and usually will be witty.

Free Verse (Blank Verse) - an open form of poetry. It does not have consistent patterns 
or rhythm. It does not have any particular rhyme scheme or structure. There are no rules to writing this type of poetry.

Haiku - a Japanese poem of 17 syllables divided into 3 lines of 5 & 7, and 5 syllables. A poem of this form usually refers to nature or seasons. This style of poetry express much and suggests more in the fewest possible words.


Imagery - a poem that appeals to the 5 senses. This type of poem creates a mental picture. Its uses figurative language to represent objects, actions, and ideas.

Limerick - a humorous verse with 5 lines and the first, second, and fifth lines rhyme with each other (a triplet), and the third and fourth lines rhyme with each other (a couplet).

Lyric - a major division of poetry which expresses the author's own thoughts and feelings.

Narrative - a major division of poetry which tells a story.

Ode - a stately poem that is of noble sentiment.

Quatrain - a poem with four lines and usually rhymes in one of four ways: aaaa, abab, aabb, abba. (There are other poems described with certain number of lines. They are: couplet, triplet, or tercet, sextet, or sestet, octave, or octet.

Satirical - a minor division of poetry that aims to ridicule evils in order to inspire reform.

Sonnet - there are two different kinds of sonnets in the English language. They are Italian (Petrarchan) and Shakespearean. Their schemes of rhyme differ, however they both have 14 lines.

Tanka - meaning "short form". A tanka poem is similar to haiku. There's more syllables in a tanka. A tanka uses simile, metaphor and personification.

Some important terms:

alliteration - one of two types of rhyme. It is the repeated use of the same letter or sound at the beginning of two or more words or syllables.

assonance - one of two types of rhyme. It is a vowel rhyme.

blank verse/free verse - a writing arrangement that does not rhyme. Poets use this often to avoid the restriction of rhyme schemes.

metaphor - the application of a word or phrase to an object or idea it does not literally represent.


metre - a unit of rhythm in poetry. It's the pattern of the beats.


onomatopoeia - it's a device to create a certain effect. However, it's neither rhyme nor pattern. It's the use of words with sounds that suggest the subject.

personification - having the mark of personal nature or character to inanimate objects.


rhyme - a correspondence in the sound of words, is common but not essential in poetry.

simile - a figure of speech in which two unlike things are directly compared.

stanza - a grouping of lines, usually forming a pattern that is repeated in the poem. It is characterized by its number of lines, the number of feet or accents in each line, its meter, and its rhyme scheme. Stanzas are often named for the number of their lines, such as the couplet and quatrain.

verse - a single line of poetry. Verses form a stanza.

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