Types of Poetry

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Types of Poetry:

Types of Poetry American Literature

What is poetry?:

What is poetry? po·et·ry /ˈ pōətrē / Noun: Literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style and rhythm Definition: Poetry is an imaginative awareness of experience expressed through meaning, sound, and rhythmic language choices so as to evoke an emotional response. Poetry has been known to employ meter and rhyme, but this is by no means necessary. Poetry is an ancient form that has gone through numerous and drastic reinvention over time. The very nature of poetry as an authentic and individual mode of expression makes it nearly impossible to define.


Ballad Ballad A narrative poem written in four-line stanzas, characterized by swift action and narrated in a direct style. Example of Ballad Poems - Excerpt The Mermaid by Unknown author Oh the ocean waves may roll, And the stormy winds may blow, While we poor sailors go skipping aloft And the land lubbers lay down below, below, below And the land lubbers lay down below.

Blank Verse:

Blank Verse Blank verse A line of poetry or prose in unrhymed iambic pentameter. Shakespeare's sonnets, Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost , and Robert Frost's meditative poems such as "Birches" include many lines of blank verse. "Birches“ When I see birches bend to left and right / Across the lines of straighter darker trees, / I like to think some boy's been swinging them.

Example of Blank Verse:

Example of Blank Verse Excerpt from Macbeth by William Shakespeare Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.


Elegy A lyric poem that laments the dead. The elegy began as an ancient Greek metrical form and is traditionally written in response to the death of a person or group. First, there is a lament, where the speaker expresses grief and sorrow, then praise and admiration of the idealized dead, and finally consolation and solace.

Excerpt from O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman :

Excerpt from O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won, The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring; But O heart! heart! heart! O the bleeding drops of red, Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead. O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; Rise up- for you the flag is flung- for you the bugle trills,


Epic “Tell me, O muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far and wide after he had sacked the famous town of Troy. Many cities did he visit, and many were the nations with whose manners and customs he was acquainted; moreover he suffered much by sea while trying to save his own life and bring his men safely home; but do what he might he could not save his men, for they perished through their own sheer folly in eating the cattle of the Sun-god Hyperion; so the god prevented them from ever reaching home. Tell me, too, about all these things, O daughter of Jove, from whatsoever source you may know them.” From The Odyessy by Homer A long narrative poem that records the adventures of a hero. Epics typically chronicle the origins of a civilization and embody its central values. Examples from western literature include Homer's Iliad and Odyssey , Virgil's Aeneid , and Milton's Paradise Lost .

Free Verse:

Free Verse Free verse Poetry without a regular pattern of meter or rhyme. The verse is "free" in not being bound by earlier poetic conventions requiring poems to adhere to an explicit and identifiable meter and rhyme scheme in a form such as the sonnet or ballad. Modern and contemporary poets of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries often employ free verse. Fog by Carl Sandburg The fog comes on little cat feet. It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on .


Haiku A traditional Japanese haiku is a three-line poem with seventeen syllables, written in a 5/7/5 syllable count. Often focusing on images from nature, haiku emphasizes simplicity, intensity, and directness of expression. Haiku poems are forms of poetry that originated in Japan over 300 years ago. Haiku poems are very short set of words that often expresses a unique thought or feeling. It is a short poem that records the essence of a moment keenly perceived in which Nature is linked to human nature.

Haiku Examples:

Haiku Examples Melodic starlight Serenade us with your song In the twilight hours. Shy little songbird where is your bright color now? On this dreary day?

Light Verse:

Light Verse Poetry on trivial or playful themes that is written primarily to amuse and entertain and that often involves the use of nonsense and wordplay. Frequently distinguished by considerable technical competence, wit, sophistication, and elegance, light poetry constitutes a considerable body of verse in all Western languages.

Light Verse:

Light Verse The Firefly The firefly's flame Is something for which science has no name I can think of nothing eerier Than flying around with an unidentified glow on a person's posteerier . By Ogden Nash “ Shake and shake the catsup bottle . None comes out and then a lottle .” by Og den Nash

Lyric Verse--A type of poem characterized by brevity, compression, and the expression of feeling. :

Lyric Verse--A type of poem characterized by brevity, compression, and the expression of feeling. Dying by Emily Dickinson I heard a fly buzz when I died; The stillness round my form Was like the stillness in the air Between the heaves of storm. The eyes beside had wrung them dry, And breaths were gathering sure For that last onset, when the king Be witnessed in his power. I willed my keepsakes, signed away What portion of me I Could make assignable,-and then There interposed a fly, With blue, uncertain, stumbling buzz, Between the light and me; And then the windows failed, and then I could not see to see.

Narrative Poetry:

Narrative Poetry Poetry that tells a story A Ballad is a narrative poem written in four-line stanzas, characterized by swift action and narrated in a direct style. The ballad of John Henry, The Steel Driving Man is an example


Ode ODE TO ETHIOPIA O Mother Race! to thee I bring This pledge of faith unwavering, This tribute to thy glory. I know the pangs which thou didst feel, When Slavery crushed thee with its heel, With thy dear blood all gory. Sad days were those -- ah, sad indeed! But through the land the fruitful seed Of better times was growing. The plant of freedom upward sprung, And spread its leaves so fresh and young -- Its blossoms now are blowing. On every hand in this fair land, proud Ethiope's swarthy children stand Beside their fairer neighbor; The forests flee before their stroke, Their hammers ring, their forges smoke, They stir in honest labour . A long, stately poem in stanzas of varied length, meter, and form. Usually a serious poem on an exalted subject.

Prose Poetry:

Prose Poetry Poetic language in unlined form http://www.prose-poems.com/contemporary.html


Cinquain A cinquain is a five lined poem. Diamond-shaped poems with 5 lines. Incorporates oral, analytical thinking, reading and writing skills. Here is an example: Spider Furry, black Climbing, spinning, weaving They make an intricate web Tarantula

War by Saud:

War by Saud War Sad, destructive Killing, injuring, destroying A thing that kills life. Terminator Line 1: War 1 NOUN-A Line 2: Sad, destructive 2 related ADJECTIVES Line 3: Killing, injuring, destroying 3 descriptive GERUNDS (verb + - ing ) Line 4: A thing that kills life. 1 complete, related SENTENCE Line 5: Terminator 1 NOUN-B (a synonym of NOUN-A)


Sonnet A fourteen-line poem in iambic pentameter. The Shakespearean or English sonnet is arranged as three quatrains and a final couplet, rhyming abab cdcd efef gg. The Petrarchan sonnet divides into two parts: an eight-line octave and a six-line sestet, rhyming abba abba cde cde or abba abba cd cd cd.

the sonnet-ballad by Gwendolyn Brooks:

the sonnet-ballad by Gwendolyn Brooks Oh mother, mother, where is happiness?/ They took my lover's tallness off to war,/ Left me lamenting. Now I cannot guess/ What I can use an empty heart-cup for. He won't be coming back here any more./ Some day the war will end, but, oh, I knew/ When he went walking grandly out that door /That my sweet love would have to be untrue. Would have to be untrue. Would have to court /Coquettish death, whose impudent and strange/ Possessive arms and beauty (of a sort)/ Can make a hard man hesitate--and change. And he will be the one to stammer, "Yes.“ Oh mother, mother, where is happiness?

The Tanka poem is very similar to haiku but Tanka poems have more syllables and it uses simile, metaphor and personification. :

The Tanka poem is very similar to haiku but Tanka poems have more syllables and it uses simile, metaphor and personification. Line one - 5 syllables Beautiful mountains Line two - 7 syllables Rivers with cold, cold water. Line three - 5 syllables White cold snow on rocks Line four - 7 syllables Trees over the place with frost Line five - 7 syllables White sparkly snow everywhere.

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