The Many Different Types of Poetry

The Many Different Types of Poetry

by Laura Sciarpelletti
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There are so many different forms of poetry, with their different ways of expression and style limitations. Poetry is a fantastic way to open up and let the creative juices flow, to release emotions and thoughts and to train yourself to become better at writing and expression. It is a great idea to write down thoughts and lines throughout the day—whenever they come to you—and then use a poetic method to turn your thoughts into a completed piece of work. Now poetry is meant to be fun and enjoyable and if you don’t want constrictions and rules you don’t have to use them. But some styles and rules of poetry are so easy and fun to use you will get great results. Here are a few basics; classics but goodies, these poetry styles are perfect for the beginner poet:


A poem that tells a story, a ballad is a rhyming poem that usually lends itself best to a love story. Originally ballads were folk songs, and you can see a lot of their influence in today’s music. This is a long-form poem, so take your time with these and think about characters and feelings and rhyming words.


Don’t want to be limited to meter and rhyming? Do you just want to go with the flow and spit out words? Free verse has no limitations and is open to any length. It’s nice to have some inner rhymes and alliteration etc. to add poetic merit to the poem, but have fun with this one and create a poem on your own terms.


Look up poet Robert Frost because he was a master at this one. A couplet is short and sweet, using two rhyming lines in one verse. These lines will be the same in length and meter and need to form a complete thought. This is a great one to do on the go. For example, next time you are on the bus come up with two lines that rhyme and tell the reader a fact or thought, and you’ve got a couplet!


Everyone writes a haiku at one point or another. It is a major form of Japanese poetry and is three lines in length and seventeen syllables in total. The first line needs to be five syllables, the second needs to be seven, and the third must be five again.  Haikus can talk about anything and everything but always look the same in length.


Lyric poems can be many different lengths and rhythms, but they are usually song-like in sound and emotional and romantic in theme. Often the vibe of a lyric poem will be dramatic and narrative-heavy so feel free to tell a descriptive story with this type of poem.

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