Poetry is beautiful and mysterious... It is a way to express unruly human emotions with grace and beauty. It is born from pain, hardship and leaves the poet lighter for having expressed one's self

This post refers to the abc of poetry. A lot of people are interested in poetry. It is also a refreshing, cleansing and satisfying project for the poet. However while the trend of free verse is dominant it still helps to be familiar with the original techniques such as syllable count, stress/unstress, rhythm and rhyme schemes.

Free verse is sufficient to express your emotion but it is not necessarily appealing to the ear. The lay man would find it difficult to differentiate between free verse and prose. Most famous free verse poets have mastered the traditional techniques and only than are capable of writing poetry which is both harmonic and free verse.

You may not be concerned about the artistic beauty of a poem, in which case this article may not interest you. But for those who are, I would hasten to reassure that just being familiar with the traditional terms and concepts would take your poetry a long way. You need not necessarily follow a strict pattern such as the iambic pentameter, but if your poetry is any where near any meter it sounds better.

Start with the basics. Try to make sure your poetry at least partially follows a rhyme scheme.However do not let the rhyme dictate your topic in which case it will become meaningless. Rather make sure your theme and topic have higher priority than the structure. You will have to find the balance between saying what you want to say and keeping the poem in form.

The most common coherent rhyme schemes are (where each alphabet indicates a rhyme):

aa bb cc...

abab cdcd efef..
abab cc dede ff...
abba cddc effe 
or any pattern which suits your topic. Though with free verse becoming so dominant, you need not be so strict about your rhyme scheme. follow a pattern but sometimes an expression just does not rhyme, and free verse allows you to leave it as it is rather than sacrificing the emotion for the structure. 

Also, syllable count helps maintain a balance- even a  rough one does the job. Try having roughly the same amount of syllables in each line. For eg.
happy - is 1 syllable
happily- is 2 syllables
If one verse is just too long and you don't want to cut it down than turn it in to two verses. It will become a run on line. Though be careful as to break the line into two on a significant point, in realtion to the topic .

Also make good use of punctuation. full stops are often used at the end of a stanza if you finished at least an aspect of a topic in it. Commas most often are used at the end of a line unless it is a run on line. Capital letters used a part from the begining


This post contains 51 types of poetry. These include all known (at least to my research) forms a poem may take.

ABCA poem that has five lines that create a mood, picture, or feeling. Lines 1 through 4 are made up of words, phrases or clauses while the first word of each line is in alphabetical order. Line 5 is one sentence long and begins with any letter.

Acrostic Poetry that certain letters, usually the first in each line form a word or message when read in a sequence.

Ballad A poem that tells a story similar to a folk tail or legend which often has a repeated refrain.

Ballade Poetry which has three stanzas of seven, eight or ten lines and a shorter final stanza of four or five. All stanzas end with the same one line refrain.

Blank verse A poem written in unrhymed iambic pentameter and is often unobtrusive. The iambic pentameter form often resembles the rhythms of speech.

Bio A poem written about one self's life, personality traits, and ambitions.

Burlesque Poetry that treats a serious subject as humor.

Canzone Medieval Italian lyric style poetry with five or six stanzas and a shorter ending stanza.

Carpe diem Latin expression that means 'seize the day.' Carpe diem poems have a theme of living for today.

Cinquain Poetry with five lines. Line 1 has one word (the title). Line 2 has two words that describe the title. Line 3 has three words that tell the action. Line 4 has four words that express the feeling, and line 5 has one word which recalls the title

Classicism Poetry which holds the principles and ideals of beauty that are characteristic of Greek and Roman art, architecture, and literature.

Couplet A couplet has rhyming stanzas made up of two lines.

Dramatic monologue A type of poem which is spoken to a listener. The speaker addresses a specific topic while the listener unwittingly reveals details about him/herself.

Elegy A sad and thoughtful poem about the death of an individual.

Epic An extensive, serious poem that tells the story about a heroic figure.

Epigram A very short, ironic and witty poem usually written as a brief couplet or quatrain. The term is derived from the Greek epigramma meaning inscription.

EpitaphA commemorative inscription on a tomb or mortuary monument written to praise the deceased.

Epithalamium (Epithalamion)A poem written in honor of the bride and groom.

Free verse (vers libre)Poetry written in either rhyme or unrhymed lines that have no set fixed metrical pattern.

GhazalA short lyrical poem that arose in Urdu. It is between 5 and 15 couplets long. Each couplet contains its own poetic thought but is linked in rhyme that is established in the first couplet and continued in the second line of each pair. The lines of each couplet are equal in length. Themes are usually connected to love and romance. The closing signature often includes the poet's name or allusion to it.

HaikuA Japanese poem composed of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five morae, usually containing a season word.

Horatian odeShort lyric poem written in two or four-line stanzas, each with its the same metrical pattern, often addressed to a friend and deal with friendship, love and the practice of poetry. It is named after its creator, Horace.

Iambic pentameterOne short syllabel followed by one long one five sets in a row. Example: la-LAH la-LAH la-LAH la-LAH la-LAH

Idyll (Idyl)Poetry that either depicts a peaceful, idealized country scene or a long poem telling a story about heroes of a bye gone age.

Irregular (Pseudo-Pindaric or Cowleyan) odeNeither the three part form of the pindaric ode nor the two or four-line stanza of the Horatian ode. It is characterized by irregularity of verse and structure and lack of coorespondence between the parts.

Italian sonnetA sonnet consisting of an octave with the rhyme pattern abbaabba followed by six lines with a rhyme pattern of cdecde or cdcdcd.

LayA long narrative poem, especially one that was sung by medieval minstrels.

LimerickA short sometimes vulgar, humorous poem consisting of five anapestic lines. Lines 1, 2, and 5 have seven to ten syllables, rhyme and have the same verbal rhythm. The 3rd and 4th lines have five to seven syllables, rhyme and have the same rhythm.

ListA poem that is made up of a list of items or events. It can be any length and rhymed or unrhymed.

LyricA poem that expresses the thoughts and feelings of the poet.

Memoriam stanzaA quatrain in iambic tetrameter with a rhyme scheme of abba -- named after the pattern used by Lord Tennyson.

NamePoetry that tells about the word. It uses the letters of the word for the first letter of each line.

NarrativeA poem that tells a story.

OdeA lengthy lyric poem typically of a serious or meditative nature and having an elevated style and formal stanza structure.

PastoralA poem that depicts rural life in a peaceful, romanticized way.

PetrarchanA 14-line sonnet consisting of an octave rhyming abbaabba followed by a sestet of cddcee or cdecde

Pindaric odeA ceremonious poem consisting of a strophe (two or more lines repeated as a unit) followed by a an antistrophe with the same metrical pattern and concluding with a summary line (an epode) in a different meter. Named after Pindar, a Greek professional lyrist of the 5th century B.C.

QuatrainA stanza or poem consisting of four lines. Lines 2 and 4 must rhyme while having a similar number of syllables.

RhymeA rhyming poem has the repetition of the same or similar sounds of two or more words, often at the end of the line.

Rhyme royalA type of poetry consisting of stanzas having seven lines in iambic pentameter.

RomanticismA poem about nature and love while having emphasis on the personal experience.

A lyrical poem of French origin having 10 or 13 lines with two rhymes and with the opening phrase repeated twice as the refrain.

A short Japanese style poem, similar to haiku in structure that treats human beings rather than nature: Often in a humorous or satiric way.

SestinaA poem consisting of six six-line stanzas and a three-line envoy. The end words of the first stanza are repeated in varied order as end words in the other stanzas and also recur in the envoy.

ShakespeareanA 14-line sonnet consisting of three quatrains of abab cdcd efef followed by a couplet, gg. Shakespearean sonnets generally use iambic pentameter.

ShapePoetry written in the shape or form of an object.

SonnetA lyric poem that consists of 14 lines which usually have one or more conventional rhyme schemes.

TankaA Japanese poem of five lines, the first and third composed of five syllables and the other seven.

Terza Rima 
A type of poetry consisting of 10 or 11 syllable lines arranged in three-line tercets.

VerseA single metrical line of poetry.

VillanelleA 19-line poem consisting of five tercets and a final quatrain on two rhymes. The first and third lines of the first tercet repeat alternately as a refrain closing the succeeding stanzas and joined as the final couplet of the quatrain.

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This is a poetry Blog. It displays:

- ABC of Poetry- the basics any new poet needs to know

- My poetry

- Your poetry on 'Poet's forum

- Mysterious quotes from Poetry

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“He who is certain he knows the ending of things when he is only beginning them is either extremely wise or extremely foolish; No matter which is true, he is certainly an unhappy man for he has put a knife in the heart of wonder”

(Tad Williams)

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