Types of Poetry

Since I am doing a poetry challenge… I thought I would share some different types of poetry.  I am primarily a prose writer so I had to look this stuff up to get things I had forgotten since my last poetry class.

Tanka is a Japanese poetry type of five lines, the first and third composed of five syllables and the rest of seven. Tanka is the oldest type of poetry in Japan.

Haiku Poetry Type is a Japanese poem composed of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables. Haiku poetry originated in the sixteenth century and reflects on some aspect of nature and creates images.

The Senryu Poetry Type is a short Japanese poem that is similar to a Haiku poem in structure but treats human beings rather than nature, often in a humorous or satiric way.

Free Verse is a form of Poetry composed of either rhymed or unrhymed lines that have no set fixed metrical pattern.

Limericks are short sometimes bawdy, humorous poems of consisting of five Anapaestic lines. Lines 1, 2, and 5 of a Limerick have seven to ten syllables and rhyme with one another. Lines 3 and 4 have five to seven syllables and also rhyme with each other.

An epitaph is a commemorative inscription on a tomb or mortuary monument written in praise, or reflecting the life, of a deceased person.

Terza rima is a type of poetry consisting of 10 or 11 syllable lines arranged in three-line “tercets”.

An Elegy is a sad and thoughtful poem lamenting the death of a person.

Cinquain Poetry Type has five lines.

  • Line 1 is one word (the title)
  • Line 2 is two words that describe the title.
  • Line 3 is three words that tell the action
  • Line 4 is four words that express the feeling
  • Line 5 is one word that recalls the title

An Allegory is a narrative having a second meaning beneath the surface one – a story with two meanings, a literal meaning and a symbolic meaning.



These definitions were taken from: http://www.types-of-poetry.org.uk/  
Check out the website for other types of poems.


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