The A to E of Poetry :-)

As the Title of this Blog goes, I'll be enlisting some major types of poetry arranged alphabetically from A to E.

Of course, time permitting, I'll continue with some more types of poetry starting from F right up to Z in my future blogs.

I didn't want to load you with too much of info in one single blog. Hence, I plan to do it in parts :-)

Till then, please go thru this Blog and I wish you happy reading and happy learning :-)

I'll begin with the letter A and will end with the letter E :-)

Hope you enjoy all that I've written for you to see :-)

An Abecederian Poem is also known as an Alphabet Poem. Its each line or verse begins with a successive/sequential letter of the alphabet.

Here's an example of an Abecederian Poem

An Acrostic is a poem where certain letters in each line spell out a word or a phrase. A single acrostic is formed by the initial letters of the lines, a double acrostic by the initial and final letters, and a triple acrostic by the initial, middle and final letters.

Here is a simple example of an Acrostic

Here is an example of a Double Acrostic

And here you can see a Triple Acrostic

Anaphora also known as Epanaphora is a poem in which words or phrases are repeated in the beginning of two or more successive lines or verses.

You can see this pattern in this poem by Anne Porter - A List of Praises

A Ballad is a narrative poem of short stanzas usually set to music for singing.

Here is an example

A Ballade is a poem of 3 stanzas of 7, 8 or 10 lines sharing the same rhyme pattern followed by an envoy/envoi, all ending with the same line.

Here is how you write a Ballade

A Blank Verse Poem has no line limit (can be written in any number of lines), it has regular metrical but unrhymed lines. This form of poetry has been used in writing Epics and Dramatic Monologues. It usually has Iambic Pentameter of a rhythmic pattern of unstressed/stressed syllables but can also be written in Trochee form of stressed/unstressed syllables, Anapest form of unstressed/unstressed/stressed syllables and Dactyl form of stressed/unstressed/unstressed syllables. If all these forms are stressing you, you can go googling to read and learn more about the various types of Blank Verse poems just so that your concepts are clear :-)

Here is how Shakespeare used Blank Verses in his Plays

Now, don't confuse a Blank Verse with a Free Verse which is another category of poetry. Though both these types of poetry have unrhymed lines, a Blank Verse is consistently metrical whereas a Free Verse is free from both rhyme and meter.

Blues Poem originates from the African American oral tradition and the musical tradition of the Blues. It is themed on life's struggles, despair, grief, pain, loss and sex.

Here are some examples

The Bop poetic form is written in 3 stanzas, each followed by a refrain (repeated part of a poem). The first stanza has 6 lines and presents a problem. The second stanza has 8 lines and explores or expands the problem. The third stanza is again of 6 lines, presenting a solution to the problem or documenting the failure to resolve the problem.

Here are 2 e.g.s of how you write a Bop Poem

A Cento is a patchwork or collage poem consisting of lines, quotations, verses or passages taken from the works of other authors.

Here is an example of a Cento

A Cinquain also known as a Quintain or Quintet is made of 5 unrhymed lines. Lines 1 and 5 have 2 syllables each, Line 2 has 4 syllables, Line 3 has 6 syllables and Line 4 has 8 syllables. In all, there are 22 syllables in this type of poem.

Here is where you can sample an example and also create your own Cinquain :-)

A word cinquain is based on words instead of syllables. Lines 1 and 5 have 1 word each, Line 2 has two words, Line 3 - three words, and Line 4 - four words. Hence, a word cinquain will have a total of 11 words.

Example of a word cinquain is here

If you research the web, you'll find many other types of Cinquain - Butterfly, Reverse, Mirror, Crown, Garland, Didactic, Lanterne, Cinqku, Tanka, etc

Diamante Poem - well, as the name goes, a poem written in the shape of a diamond is known as a Diamante Poem :-) It consists of 7 unrhymed lines having a set structure of nouns, adjectives and verbs themed on either one topic or two contrasting topics like Winter/Summer, Day/Night, Happiness/Sadness, Life/Death, etc. The 1st and 7th line are the shortest having just 1 word each and the ones in the middle are longer, thus giving the poem its characteristic diamond shape. The word count is: 1,2,3,4,3,2,1. Lines 1, 4 and 7 have nouns. Lines 2 and 6 have adjectives. Lines 3 and 5 have verbs. Thus the pattern is: noun, adjectives, verbs, nouns, verbs, adjectives, noun. In a Synonym diamante, the 1st and last nouns mean the same whereas in an Antonym diamante, the 1st and last nouns mean the opposite.

Here you can create your own Diamante Poem

Dramatic Monologue or a Persona Poem uses the technique of Theatrics in which the poem is narrated by a solo speaker impersonating a character. It's a monologue and so the performer seems to talk to the audience but is actually talking to some fictitious characters as if he's venting out his thoughts and feelings or responding to their comments and queries (which are inaudible) as there are no dialogues or auditory responses in this type of performance.

Here is an Example

An Echo Verse is a type of verse in which the final word/syllable of each line is 'echoed back' as a response i.e. repeated as an 'echo' in the line below. A good example would be the poem Heaven written by the Welsh-born English poet, orator and priest George Herbert (1593-1633)

Here it is for you to see :-)

An Ekphrastic Poem offers a vivid description of an artistic creation which could be a scene or a visual piece of work through the imaginative act of narrating and reflecting on the "action" of a painting, photograph, picture, pottery or a sculpture by amplifying and expanding its meaning. The poet tries to convey the deeper, inner, hidden or latent meaning of the artwork esp. what it may symbolise for e.g. a photo of a barren land can convey desolation, loneliness, neglect, isolation or loss. We must bear in mind that it is entirely the poet's perception, reaction or interpretation of that artwork and so a piece of art can be seen very differently by two different persons and hence, the artwork can inspire two different poets to write two entirely different poems having no shared sense of perception.

Here are 2 Examples of Ekphrastic Poetry

An Elegy is a mournful poem written to lament the death of a person or a group of people who've died due to natural causes or due to tragic circumstances for e.g. illness / epidemic / fire / riots / accidents / wars / acts of terrorism or any other natural disasters like Tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, landslides, volcanoes, etc. Traditionally, elegies have been written in 3 stages: the 1st stage of the poem expressing the poet's grief and sorrow over the death of the person/group, the 2nd stage expressing the poet's praise and admiration of the deceased person/group and the 3rd or the last stage of the poem offering some consolation and solace to deal with the tragic loss and bereavement.

Here is an Example of an Elegy

Emoticon Poetry - this new category has been introduced by me. If you want to check how to write such poetry, this is the Link you need to see

An Epic Poem is a long, narrative poem written on a grand scale to highlight some major events or heroic feats and adventures of historical culture pertaining to a country or nation. For e.g. our ancient Indian Ramayana or Mahabharata

Paradise Lost by John Milton is also a good example of an Epic Poem

An Epigram is a short, witty poem expressing an idea, thought or observation in a clever and amusing way. It could be a couplet (having 2 lines), quatrain (having 4 lines) or a one-liner like Oscar Wilde's

"I can resist everything except temptation"

Here is a wonderful example of an Epigram :-)

Here is another one :-)

An Epistle is a type of poem you would love writing if you love letter-writing :-) Epistle is essentially a poem in a letter form; it could be a single letter poem or a series of letters written in a poem. It could be full of rhyming and metrical stanzas or without a meter / rhyme, it could be several words and pages long or a very short or medium-sized poem, it could be having a personal/casual/intimate tone or an impersonal (formal) one, it could be written to a real or an imaginary person/group of people, it could be the views of the poet or the poet can take on the character of a different writer while writing the letter. Hence, an epistle offers a lot of choice in how you write the poem. Traditionally, epistles were written to express one's thoughts and views on love, religion, philosophy and morality. The New Testament of the Bible has many epistles.

Here is an Example of an Epistle

You can also see this one

Thus, ends my Blog here for today.

See you again another time, another day :-)


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Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. - Benjamin Franklin

More By  :  Aparna Chatterjee

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