Comprehensive List of Poetry Types

Types of PoemsAre you looking for new poetry types to try out? Everyone knows the most common types of poetry like haiku, sonnet, ballad, and free verse. But what about the others?

In this article, you’ll discover a comprehensive list of different types of poetry with easy to understand explanations along with some examples. Some of these styles will have strict rhythm while others will use repetition or other techniques. Whether you are searching for new poetry styles to write or doing research for a critique, you will surely find this list useful and informative.

The Three Genres of Poetry

A few thousand years ago, the great philosopher Aristotle divided poetry into three genres: comedy, tragedy, and epic. He said comedy was an imitation of something inferior in a humorous way, while both tragedies and epics are ways of displaying suffering. The main differences he saw between tragedies and epics are that epics are told as narratives in heroic meter and epics are longer with the ability to jump back and forth to different events happening at the same time. Tragedies, on the other hand, are written in iambic meter and should be able to be read in only one hearing.

Today, most literature enthusiasts agree that poetry is divided into three parts: dramatic, lyric, and narrative.

  1. Dramatic
    Dramatic poetry is a drama written in verse and meant to be spoken. This type of writing is usually written as a story or portrays a situation. The majority of dramatic poetry is written in blank verse. The most famous authors of dramatic poetry are Shakespeare, Jonson, and Marlowe.
  2. Lyric
    Lyric poetry expresses the thoughts and feelings of the writer and is often written with a song-like quality. Common types of lyrics include odes, elegies, and sonnets.
  3. Narrative
    Narratives tell stories. Common types of narratives are ballads and epics.

Nonetheless, these three genres can easily be divided into more exact categories of poetry types.

Specific Poetry Types

ABC

Consists of five lines. Lines from 1 to 4 are made up of words, phrases, or clauses with the first letter of each line in alphabetical order. Line 5 is one sentence long and may start with any letter.

Acrostic

Consists of any number of lines which spell a word or message. Usually, the message is formed from the first letter of the phrase but may be any letter.(Continue reading…)

How to Write a Clerihew

ClerihewI have mentioned Clerihew a few times on this blog and I even made an entire theme of Bright Dreams Journal of the genre, but what exactly is it and what does it accomplish?

Why Write a Clerihew?

First and foremost, yes, poetry has to accomplish something. It does not matter what. Entertainment, persuasion, and information are the most common. For Clerihew, entertainment is the most obvious choice. However, using Clerihew as a way to give information about people can also be a great way to help children remember important historical figures.(Continue reading…)

5 Obscure Poetry Forms You’ve Never Heard of but Should Try

Are you looking for some new poetry forms to try? In this article, we will take a look at some uncommon and obscure poetry forms that you should take for a spin.

I’ve been writing poetry for over fifteen years now. I love to be able to share my thoughts and ideas in ways which I can’t do when writing prose. I feel that simple words and phrases don’t do them justice. This is why poetry is my favorite form of literature. It is powerful.

However, writing free verse does get tiring. I will sometimes look through a list of poetic forms and choose something different to try. At first, I’d write the common stuff–sonnets, haiku, odes–and then move to something less common–lyrics, cinquains, and limericks.(Continue reading…)