Poetry Types Traditional Verse
closed form
Most of what follows (below) applies to Traditional Verse, especially all aspects that constrain or define form, meter, rhyme, or sequence in stanzas, or require patterns of emphasis (stress).
Free Verse
open form
Free Verse usually contains crafted, deliberate lines, and can be considered Narrative, Lyric, or Dramatic, but is not constrained by traditions of form, stanza, meter, etc. It often makes use of stresses, phrase repetition, exacting word choice, and a melodic pace, following natural speech/thought, not fixed form.
Prose Poem
open form
Prose Poems might use line breaks in an original, un-prosaic manner, but is usually written like prose (paragraphs). It can even adhere internally to Stanzaic and Fixed Forms, but without line breaks and/or enforced stresses (thus emulating natural speech).
Form Types Continuous
  Stream-of-consciousness, narrative, or dramatic monolog; prose poems. On The Road —Jack Kerouac
The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars, and in the middle, you see the blue center-light pop, and everybody goes ahh.."
Blank Unrhymed iambic and usually pentameter lines (using 5 beats / 10 stresses). Most common form of English poetry. Sunday Morning —Wallace Stevens
Complacencies of the peignoir, and late
Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair,
And the green freedom of a cockatoo
Upon a rug mingle to dissipate
The holy hush of ancient sacrifice.
She dreams a little, and she feels the dark
Encroachment of that old catastrophe,
As a calm darkens among water-lights.
The pungent oranges and bright, green wings
Seem things in some procession of the dead,
Winding across wide water, without sound.
The day is like wide water, without sound,
Stilled for the passing of her dreaming feet
Over the seas, to silent Palestine,
Dominion of the blood and sepulchre."
Epigram 1 to 4 lines of concise, polished observations or "wisdom" statements. No fixed form, but poetic epigram conforms to a metric musicality, always. All things pass —Stevie Smith
All things pass
Love and mankind is grass."
Haiku Traditional haiku is 17 syllables (on or morae), in three phrases (lines) of 5, 7, 5. (But even Haiku masters broke the 17 rule.) last pull —Greg Correll
The last rasping suck
of the milkshake. My mouth mourns
a lost creamy pull."
Heroic Couplet 2 rhyming lines, iambic pentrameter or tetrameter. Rhyme progresses: aabbccdd, etc. Caesura or pause comes after 5th or 6th syllable. The Author to her Book —Anne Bradstreet
Thou ill-form’d offspring of my feeble brain,
Who after birth didst by my side remain,
Till snatched from thence by friends, less wise than true,
Who thee abroad, expos’d to publick view,
Made thee in raggs, halting to th’ press to trudge,
Where errors were not lessened (all may judg).
At thy return my blushing was not small,
My rambling brat (in print) should mother call,
I cast thee by as one unfit for light,
Thy Visage was so irksome in my sight;
Yet being mine own, at length affection would
Thy blemishes amend, if so I could:
I wash’d thy face, but more defects I saw,
And rubbing off a spot, still made a flaw.
I stretched thy joynts to make thee even feet,
Yet still thou run’st more hobling then is meet;
In better dress to trim thee was my mind,
But nought save home-spun Cloth, i’ th’ house I find.
In this array ’mongst Vulgars mayst thou roam.
In Criticks hands, beware thou dost not come;
And take thy way where yet thou art not known,
If for thy Father askt, say, thou hadst none:
And for thy Mother, she alas is poor,
Which caus’d her thus to send thee out of door."
Ghazal Rhymed couplet, with refrains of 5 or more. Each couplet can stand alone but is united in the overall theme of unconditional. 'superior' love—and seperation. Strict rhyme and rythmn, and lines share same meter. Ancient; roots are Arabic/Persian/Urdu; remains a major Indian subcontinent form. Last verse often contains poet's name. Invocation —Abigail Carl-Klassen

For the wound that is staying thank you.
For the wound that is leaving thank you.

When someone says that you are acting
mat Welt just smile and say thank you.

Anywhere blows are received and brutality is
revealed, take another please, thank you.

Don’t try to fix the electric fence because
prohibido el paso need not apply, thank you.

On behalf of the municipal education board’s
school of hard knocks downtown, thank you.

India, foster sister locked out of the kitchen, for
not snitching to Mother England, we thank you.

The assassin’s bullet bends toward justice but
immolation’s lighter fluid says no thank you.

The effigy is ablaze and it’s coming down on your
head, for the warning and illumination I thank you.

Mujeres de Juárez who carry dead jovenes and scream
*no mas sangre*, Santa Muerte says, *fuck you*.

For all those who left before me and to those who
stayed after me I will always be grateful, thank you.">

Limerick 5 lines with anapestic meter (ta-ta-TUM) and a strict rhyme scheme of aabba. Lines 1, 2, and 5 have 3 feet of 3+ syllables; lines 3 and 4 are 2 feet of 3 syllables (though 3-3-2-2-3 stresses is the essential thing). A Lady Named Bright —anon
There was a young lady named Bright
whose speed was much faster than light
She set off one day
in her usual way
and returned home the previous night
Pantoum 4 line stanzas (quatrains). No fixed length. Rhyming scheme is abab.
2nd and 4th lines of 1st quatrain is 1st and 3rd of Q2, and so forth with successive quatrains. Final quatrian uses the unrepeated 1st and 3rd lines (Q1) are reversed as 2nd and 4th lines.
She Put on Her Lipstick in the Dark —Stuart Dischell
I really did meet a blind girl in paris once.
It was in the garden of a museum,
Where I saw her touching the statues.
She had brown hair and an aquamarine scarf.

It was in the garden of the museum.
I told her I was a thief disguised as a guard.
She had brown hair and an aquamarine scarf.
She told me she was a student from Grenoble.

I told her I was not a thief disguised as a guard.
We had coffee at the little commissary.
She said she had time till her train to Grenoble.
We talked about our supreme belief in art.
Sestina 6 stanzas of Sestets (6 lines), often followed by
3 line half-stanza (Terset) Iambic, often pentameter; varies.
Usually unrhymed. If rhymed: uses triplets (abcabccefedf),
Line endings (words) are rotated in set patterns.
1st stanza: 123456.
2nd: 615243 (S1's first/last end words).
3rd stanza: 364125, etc.
Sestina —Elizabeth Bishop
September rain falls on the house.
In the failing light, the old grandmother
sits in the kitchen with the child
beside the Little Marvel Stove,
reading the jokes from the almanac,
laughing and talking to hide her tears.

She thinks that her equinoctial tears
and the rain that beats on the roof of the house
were both foretold by the almanac,
but only known to a grandmother.
The iron kettle sings on the stove.
She cuts some bread and says to the child,


14 rhymed lines (iambic, often pentameter).
1 Octave (2 Quatrains) followed by
1 Sestet (2 Tersets).
Rhyme scheme is abbaabba, cdecde
(alt: ababcdcd, cdccdc or efgefg, etc).
Peace —Rupert Brooke
Now, God be thanked who has matched us with his hour,
And caught our youth, and wakened us from sleeping!
With hand made sure, clear eye, and sharpened power,
To turn, as swimmers into cleanness leaping,

Glad from a world grown old and cold and weary;
Leave the sick hearts that honor could not move,
And half-men, and their dirty songs and dreary,
And all the little emptiness of love!

Oh! we, who have known shame, we have found release there,
Where there’s no ill, no grief, but sleep has mending,
Naught broken save this body, lost but breath;

Nothing to shake the laughing heart’s long peace there,
But only agony, and that has ending;
And the worst friend and enemy is but Death."
Villanelle 19 rhymed lines. 5 Tercets, then a Quatrain.
No established meter (trimeter, pentameter, etc).
2 refrains and 2 repeating rhymes:
Rhyme is A1bA2 abA1 abA2 abA1 abA2 abA1A2.
The 1st line of 1st stanza is the last line of 2nd and 4th stanzas. The 3rd line of 1st stanza is last line of 3rd and 5th stanzas.
Do not go gentle into that good night —dylan thomas
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
  (see: Types of Stanzas, below)
Content Types Narrative Ballad,
A poem with an arc of story, a plot, a set of characters who undergo transformation according to the tradition of storytelling. The Epic of Gilgamesh —anonymous
The eyes of enkidu were full tears
and his heart was sick.
He sighed bitterly and Gilgamesh
met his eye and said,
"My friend, why do you sigh so bitterly?
But Enkidu opened his mouth and said,
"I am weak, my arms have lost their strength,
the cry of sorrow sticks in my throat.
I am oppressed by idleness."
Lyric Lyric poetry is a relatively brief, personal or emotional poem, with a central theme or singular effect, that uses creative imagery, inventive ideas, and musical or dramatic meter. Elegy, Ode, and Ballad are considered "shaping forms" by Strand and Boland, the environments within which the architecture (fixed forms) reside. Tradition makes environments of fixed forms as well, so I group them here as content types.
Elegy Historically, Greek elegaic couplets that mourned, commemorated, or exalted persons and events. Any form can be elegiac. Fugue of Death —Paul Celan
Black milk of daybreak we drink it at nightfall
we drink it at noon in the morning we drink it at night
we drink it and drink it
we are digging a grave in the sky it is ample to lie there
A man in the house he plays with the serpents he writes
he writes when the night falls to Germany your golden
    hair Margarete
he writes it and walks from the house the stars glitter he
    whistles his dogs up
he whistles his Jews out and orders a grave to be dug in
    the earth
he commands us strike up for the dance
Haiku Haiku is "cutting" (kiru)—the parataxis or pairing of 2 ideas seperated by a kireji ("cutting word"). Call-and-response, change of focus, unexpected twist, deeper meaning, are examples of kireji. poem 51.2 —Masaoka Shiki
I turn my back

on Buddha and face
the cool moon
Limerick Often bawdy if not obscene, always humorous or witty. Like haiku it has a singular idea, and pays it off with a punchline or twist. Nantucket —anonymous
There was an old man from Nantucket
Whose cock was so long he could suck it.    
He said with a grin    
As he wiped off his chin,
If my ear was a cunt I could fuck it.
Ode Formal and heroic, and ode reveres and praises a person, place, object or event. Modern ode traqdition can elevate and celebrate abstractions, like the wind. Miracle Glass Co. —Charles Simic
Heavy mirror carried
Across the street,
I bow to you
And to everything that appears in you,
And never again the same way:

This street with its pink sky,
Row of gray tenements,
A lone dog,
Children on rollerskates,
Woman buying flowers,
Someone looking lost.

In you, mirror framed in gold
And carried across the street
By someone I can’t even see,
To whom, too, I bow."
Pastoral An evocation of virtuous rural life that predates Rousseau by 2000 years, the Pastoral form re-emerged in the 16 c. as a way to explore class, religion, and pholiosophy The Passionate Shepherd to His Love —Christopher Marlowe
Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That Valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.
And we will sit upon the Rocks,
Seeing the Shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow Rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing Madrigals.
And I will make thee beds of Roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of Myrtle;
A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty Lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;
A belt of straw and Ivy buds,
With Coral clasps and Amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.
The Shepherds’ Swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May-morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me, and be my love.
Pantoum From Malayan, via France. No fixed length, unlike most fixed forms. It is considered "slow" in how it gradually introduces new lines, and thus suits looking back, timelessness. Early champions were Hugo and Baudelaire. Harmonie du soir —Charles Baudelaire
Now is the time when trembling on its stem
Each flower fades away like incense;
Sounds and scents turn in the evening air;
A melancholy waltz, a soft and giddy dizziness!

Each flower fades away like incense;
The violin thrills like a tortured heart;
A melancholy waltz, a soft and giddy dizziness!
The sky is sad and beautiful like some great resting-place.

The violin thrills like a tortured heart,
A tender heart, hating the wide black void.
The sky is sad and beautiful like some great resting-place;
The sun drowns itself in its own clotting blood.

A tender heart, boring the wide black void,
Gathers all trace from the pellucid past.
The sun drowns itself in clotting blood.
Like the Host shines O your memory in me!

(translation by Geoffrey Wagner)
Sestina A form derived from troubadour music (12th c.) that has enjoyed many revivals as a popular form, including by modern poets. Understood by many as a form suited to harsh complaint or demands, because of its tight, labyrinthine harmonies Sestina —Algernon Charles Swinburne
I saw my soul at rest upon a day
      As a bird sleeping in the nest of night,
Among soft leaves that give the starlight way
      To touch its wings but not its eyes with light;
So that it knew as one in visions may,
      And knew not as men waking, of delight.
This was the measure of my soul's delight;
      It had no power of joy to fly by day,
Nor part in the large lordship of the light;
      But in a secret moon-beholden way
Had all its will of dreams and pleasant night,
      And all the love and life that sleepers may.
But such life's triumph as men waking may
      It might not have to feed its faint delight
Between the stars by night and sun by day,
      Shut up with green leaves and a little light;
Because its way was as a lost star's way,
      A world's not wholly known of day or night.
All loves and dreams and sounds and gleams of night
      Made it all music that such minstrels may,
And all they had they gave it of delight;
      But in the full face of the fire of day
What place shall be for any starry light,
      What part of heaven in all the wide sun's way?
Yet the soul woke not, sleeping by the way,
      Watched as a nursling of the large-eyed night,
And sought no strength nor knowledge of the day,
      Nor closer touch conclusive of delight,
Nor mightier joy nor truer than dreamers may,
      Nor more of song than they, nor more of light.
For who sleeps once and sees the secret light
      Whereby sleep shows the soul a fairer way
Between the rise and rest of day and night,
      Shall care no more to fare as all men may,
But be his place of pain or of delight,
      There shall he dwell, beholding night as day.
Song, have thy day and take thy fill of light
      Before the night be fallen across thy way;
Sing while he may, man hath no long delight.
Sonnet Traditionally, each Octave is often a problem/question, and the Sestet is the resolution/answer. Line 9 is the turn (volta). Pied Beauty —Gerald Manley Hopkins
Glory be to god for dappled things
   For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
      For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
   Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
      And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
   Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
      With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
                               Praise him.

(a Curtal Sonnet
Villanelle Historically these were pastorals (ital. villanella, rustic song). Modern usage is for obsessions, intense examination or focus which exploits/suits the recurrence in the structure. Villanelles are again a popular form, undergoing innovation since the 1980s The House on the Hill —Edwin Arlington Robinson
They are all gone away,
The House is shut and still,
There is nothing more to say.
Through broken walls and gray
The winds blow bleak and shrill:
They are all gone away.
Nor is there one to-day
To speak them good or ill:
There is nothing more to say.
Why is it then we stray
Around the sunken sill?
They are all gone away,
And our poor fancy-play
For them is wasted skill:
There is nothing more to say.
There is ruin and decay
In the House on the Hill:
They are all gone away,
There is nothing more to say. "
Dramatic  Plays From ancient Greece into the 17th century, plays were stanzaic. Meter and formal lines are preseved in all comedic and dramatic musicals, of course. Henry V —Shakespeare

This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say "To-morrow is Saint Crispian."
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say "These wounds I had on Crispin's day."
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words—
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day. "
Monologs Browning shows in the My Last Duchess (example, right) how inventive and dark he was in his later work, and how forms like the couplet could be pushed to the limit, distorted, without losing veins of poetic meter, and music. My Last Duchess —Browning
That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall, Looking as if she were alive. I call That piece a wonder, now: Frà Pandolf’s hands Worked busily a day, and there she stands. Will ‘t please you sit and look at her? I said ‘Frà Pandolf’ by design, for never read Strangers like you that pictured countenance, The depth and passion of its earnest glance, But to myself they turned (since none puts by The curtain I have drawn for you, but I) And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst, How such a glance came there; so, not the first Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, ‘t was not Her husband’s presence only, called that spot Of joy into the Duchess’ cheek: perhaps Frà Pandolf chanced to say, ‘Her mantle laps Over my lady’s wrist too much,' or ‘Paint Must never hope to reproduce the faint Half-flush that dies along her throat:' such stuff Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough For calling up that spot of joy. She had A heart—how shall I say?—too soon made glad, Too easily impressed; she liked whate’er She looked on, and her looks went everywhere. Sir, ‘t was all one! My favour at her breast, The dropping of the daylight in the West, The bough of cherries some officious fool Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule She rode with round the terrace—all and each Would draw from her alike the approving speech, Or blush, at least. She thanked men,—good! but thanked Somehow—I know not how—as if she ranked My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name With anybody’s gift. Who’d stoop to blame This sort of trifling? Even had you skill In speech—(which I have not)—to make your will Quite clear to such an one, and say, ‘Just this Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss, Or there exceed the mark’—and if she let Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse, —E’en then would be some stooping; and I choose Never to stoop. Oh, sir, she smiled, no doubt, Whene’er I passed her; but who passed without Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands As if alive. Will ‘t please you rise? We’ll meet The company below then. I repeat, The Count your master’s known munificence Is ample warrant that no just pretence Of mine for dowry will be disallowed; Though his fair daughter’s self, as I avowed At starting, is my object. Nay, we’ll go Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though, Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity, Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me! Only the Dead Know Brooklyn

Only The Dead Know Brooklyn —Thomas Wolfe
Jesus! I’ve t’ought about dat guy a t’ousand times since den an’ wondered what eveh happened to ’m goin’ out to look at Bensenhoist because he liked duh name! Walkin’ aroun’ t’roo Red Hook by himself at night an’ lookin’ at his map! How many people did I see get drowned out heah in Brooklyn! How long would it take a guy wit a good map to know all deh was to know about Brooklyn!
Jesus! What a nut he was! I wondeh what eveh happened to ’m, anyway! I wondeh if someone knocked him on duh head, or if he’s still wanderin’ aroun’ in duh subway in duh middle of duh night wit his little map! Duh poor guy! Say, I’ve got to laugh, at dat, when I t’ink about him! Maybe he’s found out by now dat he’ll neveh live long enough to know duh whole of Brooklyn. It’d take a guy a lifetime to know Brooklyn t’roo an’ t’roo. An’ even den, yuh wouldn’t know it all.

Howl —Alan Ginsberg
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,
who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated,
who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war,
who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the windows of the skull,
who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burning their money in wastebaskets and listening to the Terror through the wall,
who got busted in their pubic beards returning through Laredo with a belt of marijuana for New York,
who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine in Paradise Alley, death, or purgatoried their torsos night after night
A poem can qualify under more than one Form and Type. For example, "Howl," a dramatic free verse, has aspects of Lyric and Narrative Content Types.
Some Forms resist certain kinds of Content. A Villanelle, with its recurring, circular use of lines and rhymes, resists narrative, and lends itself to poems about found moments, universal themes, and observed phenomenon or sensation. A Ballad can be Fixed or Stanzaic, Lyric and/or Dramatic.
Types of Stanzas
Stanzas Stanza or Verse
2 or more lines grouped together (4 lines is common). Lines of the same length are Isometric, different line lengths are Heterometric.
Couplet 2 lines that end in perfect rhyme. The basic unit of English poetry. Fox in socks, our game is done, sir.
Thank you for a lot of fun, sir.
—Dr. Seuss 
Tercet a unit of three lines*   
Quatrain (Quartet) four lines*   
five lines*   
Sestet six lines*   
Septet seven lines*   
Octave eight lines*   
  * with a recurring rhyme scheme   
Reading Lines of Poetry
Lines End-Stopped
the meaning of a line comes to an end "the wine-dark sea a furious cauldron.
they lashed him tight to the mast" 
the meaning continues on to the next line "our marble souls carved
by hands colder than stone" 
Enjambment the running of one line into another line   
The Sounds of Poetry
Rhyme End
the words at the end of the lines rhyme   
two words look as though they sound alike (plough and slough) 
the sound of the two words is exactly alike (faster and master) 
or Slant
the sound of the two words is close but not exact (dale and dell) 
Masculine the accent on the rhyming words is on a final strong syllable (infuse and defuse) 
Feminine the accent on the rhyming words is on a weak syllable (reasonable and disassemble) 
Internal using rhyme in the middle of a line as well as the end "his fear was such that none came near" 
Alliteration Sequences of same-sounding syllables. A constant cacophony of consonants or the repetition of initial identical vowels, in successive or closely places syllables, especially stressed syllables. Alliteration,  mostly consonants, is less persistent than than rhyme, which involves both vowels and consonants. 
  "Rock rings with molten melody, the mute music of metamorphic madness" 
  "Over the old oaken forest
Orpheus sent his mournful ode " 
of sounds
  "The moan of doves in immemorial elms, / And murmuring of innumerable bees."
Assonance The repetition of vowel sounds in a line or phrase. An artful "strew" of same/similar vowel sounds in stressed syllables with otherwise different initial or final consonant sounds. (Rhyme engages both vowels and consonants.) "rail" and "bail" are full rhyme; "rail" and "rate" assonance. 
Consonance Final consonants in the stressed syllables agree but vowels differ. Eye rhymes ("bomb-comb") are often consonance. "glass-stress," "torn-cairn" 
Onomatopoeia Words that “sound” like a noise or audible process; can include words that stongly evoke the sensation of hearing a particular sound
zazz (cicadas), murmur, bark, meow 
The Rhythm of Poetry

Meter measures a line of poetry based on the rhythm of words. Foot is a unit of stressed and unstressed syllables. For example: "The barefoot boy with shoes on" is "bah-BAH bah-BAH bah-BAH bah, or "the BAREfoot BOY with SHOES on." The first three feet are called an iamb or iambic foot (bah-BAH—unstressed syllable, then a stressed one).

Rhythm Rhythm in a poem is based on the sound of words   
Scansion How we analyze a poem with a pattern of accents in each line   
Accent Strong syllable or syllables, what we emphasize with breath and tone   
Strong Accent words with more than 1 syllable have at least one strong accent   
Stressed the emphasized sound(s) in a word   
Weak Accent less- or un-stressed syllables in a word   
Unstressed the unemphasized sound(s) in a word   
Foot one unit of the rhythmic pattern that makes up the meter   
Iamb 1 weak and 1 strong syllable depart 
Iambic Meter rhythm based on the iambic foot   
Trochee 1 strong and 1 weak syllable input 
Trochaic Meter rhythm based on the trochaic foot   
Anapest 2 weak syllables followed by a strong syllable Twas the night..." 
Anapestic Meter the rhythm based on the anapestic foot   
Dactyl a strong syllable followed by two weak syllables Palentine 
Dactylic Meter the rhythm based on the dactylic foot   
Spondee two strong accents together  fuckall 
Pyrrhus two weak accents together in the (ocean) 
Caesura a break in meter (with a period, colon, semicolon, or comma; can be a line break)   
Anacrusis an unstressed syllable at the beginning of a line
that does not affect the overall meter
t'the cellar we ran, giddily, trippingly" 
Meter The pattern set up by the regular rhythm of words in a poem. (Derived in part from a chart by H. T. Kirby-Smith).  
Monometer a line of one (1) foot  * /
 / *
 * * /
 / * *
 / * /
Dimeter a line of two (2) feet  * / | * /
Trimeter a line of three (3) feet */|*/|*/
Tetrameter a line of four (4) feet */|*/|*/|*/|
Pentameter a line with five (5) feet */|*/|*/|*/|*/


Hexameter a line with six (6) feet  */|*/|*/|*/|*/|*/
(six feet)
(six feet)
Heptameter a line with seven (7) feet  */|*/|*/|*/|*/|*/|*/
(seven feet)
(seven feet)
Octameter a line with eight (8) feet (eight feet)
(eight feet)
(eight feet)
(eight feet)
Poetic feet in classical metrics
Macron and breve notation: ¯ = stressed/long syllable, ˘ = unstressed/short syllable
˘˘ pyrrhus, dibrach
˘¯ iamb
¯˘ trochee, choree (or choreus)
¯¯ spondee
˘˘˘ tribrach
¯˘˘ dactyl
˘¯˘ amphibrach
˘˘¯ anapest, antidactylus
˘¯¯ bacchius
¯¯˘ antibacchius
¯˘¯ cretic, amphimacer
¯¯¯ molossus
˘˘˘˘ tetrabrach, proceleusmatic
¯˘˘˘ primus paeon
˘¯˘˘ secundus paeon
˘˘¯˘ tertius paeon
˘˘˘¯ quartus paeon
¯¯˘˘ major ionic, double trochee
˘˘¯¯ minor ionic, double iamb
¯˘¯˘ ditrochee
˘¯˘¯ diiamb
¯˘˘¯ choriamb
˘¯¯˘ antispast
˘¯¯¯ first epitrite
¯˘¯¯ second epitrite
¯¯˘¯ third epitrite
¯¯¯˘ fourth epitrite
¯¯¯¯ dispondee



Wikipedia References


See also

External links


  1. Baldick, Chris (2008). The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-923891-0.
  2. Howatson, M. C., ed. (1976). The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-866121-5.
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foot_%28prosody%29
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syllable_weight
  5. http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/collection/poetic-forms
  6. https://www.youngwriters.co.uk/glossary-poetry-types
  7. http://www.poetrysoup.com/poems/continuous
  8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poetry_analysis
  9. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_verse
  10. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blank_verse
  11. http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/stankey/Literat/Poetry/Poetry0a.htm (Adapted from Charters/Charters, Literature and Its Writers, Compact Second Edition, Chapters 8-11, and A Handbook to Literature, 9th edition.)
  12. http://ghazalpage.com/64-klassen