Types of Poetry

Barbara J. Feldman

Poetic form refers to rules followed by different types of poems. The rules may describe the rhythm of the poem, the length of a poem, its rhyming scheme, the use of alliteration, or the poem’s shape on a page. Don’t know your cento from your cinquain? The following sites explain all.

  • Infoplease.com: Glossary of Poetry Terms4 stars

    From "accent" to "verse," Infoplease defines nearly a hundred poetry terms and forms. If you visit in April, you'll find a link in the left-hand column to National Poetry Month. There you'll find an eclectic assortment of poetry features, included Notable Poets, Quizzes, Poetry Collections organized by poet, and lists of Poetry Awards and Poet Laureates. Don't miss the Meter, Rhyme Scheme and Forms of Poetry Quiz.

  • Kathi Mitchell: Types of Poems for Kids4 stars

    Kathi Mitchell, a language arts teacher from New Hampshire, shares a list of nineteen poetic forms for elementary students. Each form includes a fun sample, and many also include links to more examples. In addition to the usual forms, such as limericks and haiku, Mitchell describes Monster Poems ("Describe an imaginary monster. Try to have a theme ...") and Third Eye Poems ("The Third Eye poem tells about things that might go unnoticed and are improbable or impossible to see with regular eyesight. The Third Eye knows what is really happening.")

  • Poets.org: Poetic Forms & Techniques5 stars

    In glossary format, Poets.org defines thirty poetic forms from "abecedarian" to "villanelle," but doesn't stop there. Each entry is linked to a longer article that provides more detail and example poems. If you are in the mood to meander, each article also contains links to various poets, poems, and external websites. "The influence of haiku on Pound is most evident in his poem 'In a Station of the Metro,' which began as a thirty-line poem, but was eventually pared down to two: 'The apparition of these faces in the crowd; / Petals on a wet, black bough.'"

  • Shadow Poetry: Types of Poetry5 stars

    Shadow Poetry is a writers' support site whose goal it is to help poets improve their writing skills and increase their knowledge of poetry forms. This section of their site defines fifty types of poems, and illustrates them with sample poems from their members. In addition to the traditional forms (such as ballad and sonnet), they also list twenty-eight forms invented by their members. Perhaps these new poetic forms will inspire you to try your hand at creating a new form of poetry!

  • Honorable Mentions

    The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!


    Cite This Page

  • Feldman, Barbara. "Types of Poetry." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 11 Apr. 2007. Web. 22 Aug. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/resources/types-of-poetry/ >.


  • About This Page

  • By . Originally published April 11, 2007. Last modified July 9, 2014.

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