Types of Poems

ABC
A poem that has five lines that create a mood, picture, or feeling. Lines 1 through 4 are made up of words, phrases or clauses while the first word of each line is in alphabetical order. Line 5 is one sentence long and begins with any letter.

Acrostic
Poetry that certain letters, usually the first in each line form a word or message when read in a sequence.


Ballad
A poem that tells a story similar to a folk tail or legend which often has a repeated refrain.

Ballade
Poetry which has three stanzas of seven, eight or ten lines and a shorter final stanza of four or five. All stanzas end with the same one line refrain.

Blank verse
A poem written in unrhymed iambic pentameter and is often unobtrusive. The iambic pentameter form often resembles the rhythms of speech.

Bio
A poem written about one self's life, personality traits, and ambitions.


Burlesque
Poetry that treats a serious subject as humor.

Cinquain
Poetry with five lines. Line 1 has one word (the title). Line 2 has two words that describe the title. Line 3 has three words that tell the action. Line 4 has four words that express the feeling, and line 5 has one word which recalls the title.


Couplet
A couplet has rhyming stanzas made up of two lines.


Dramatic monologue
A type of poem which is spoken to a listener. The speaker addresses a specific topic while the listener unwittingly reveals details about him/herself.

Epic
An extensive, serious poem that tells the story about a heroic figure.

Free verse (vers libre)
Poetry written in either rhyme or unrhymed lines that have no set fixed metrical pattern.


Haiku
A Japanese poem composed of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five morae, usually containing a season word.


Limerick
A short humorous poem consisting of five anapestic lines. Lines 1, 2, and 5 have seven to ten syllables, rhyme and have the same verbal rhythm. The 3rd and 4th lines have five to seven syllables, rhyme and have the same rhythm.


Lyric
A poem that expresses the thoughts and feelings of the poet.


Name
Poetry that tells about the word. It uses the letters of the word for the first letter of each line.


Narrative
A poem that tells a story.


Ode
A lengthy lyric poem typically of a serious or meditative nature and having an elevated style and formal stanza structure.

Petrarchan
A 14-line sonnet consisting of an octave rhyming abbaabba followed by a sestet of cddcee or cdecde

Quatrain
A stanza or poem consisting of four lines. Lines 2 and 4 must rhyme while having a similar number of syllables.

Rhyme
A rhyming poem has the repetition of the same or similar sounds of two or more words, often at the end of the line.


Rhyme royal
A type of poetry consisting of stanzas having seven lines in iambic pentameter.

Rondeau
A lyrical poem of French origin having 10 or 13 lines with two rhymes and with the opening phrase repeated twice as the refrain.

Shape
Poetry written in the shape or form of an object.


Sonnet
A lyric poem that consists of 14 lines which usually have one or more conventional rhyme schemes.


Tanka
A Japanese poem of five lines, the first and third composed of five syllables and the other seven.


Terza Rima
A type of poetry consisting of 10 or 11 syllable lines arranged in three-line tercets.


Links
http://www.kathimitchell.com/poemtypes.html
http://www.shadowpoetry.com/resources/wip/types.html