KINDS OF POEMS
BALLAD: a narrative poem which tells a story, frequently in four-line stanzas
FOLK: a sung ballad of unknown origin which is part of oral tradition
LITERARY: a ballad by a known author who imitates the folk ballad style
ELEGY: a poem that deals with the subject of death
FABLE: a short tale that teaches a moral lesson in which the characters are usually (but not always) animals with human qualities and speech.
LYRIC: any short, musical poem which expresses the poet’s clearly revealed thoughts and feelings
ODE: a lyric poem written in an elevated tone about a serious topic
PASTORAL: a poem that idealizes rural living and nature
FIXED FORM: a traditional pattern that applies to a whole poem
HAIKU: It is a three-line Japanese poem, usually about nature. The first line has five syllables, the second has seven syllables, and the third line has five syllables.
LIMERICK: a five-line nonsense poem with anapestic meter
SESTINA: A sestina is composed of six six-line stanzas followed by a tercet (three-line stanza). The end words used in each line of the first stanza repeat in a rolling pattern in the following stanzas; these same words are used two-to-a-line in the tercet.
ELIZABETHAN SONNET (ENGLISH OR SHAKESPEAREAN):
structure: fourteen lines. iambic pentameter
three quatrains, one couplet
rhyme scheme: ababcdcdefefgg
Usually, a question or theme is posed in the quatrains and answered or resolved in the couplet.
ITALIAN SONNET (PETRARCHAN):
structure: fourteen lines, iambic pentameter
octave and sestet
rhyme scheme: abbaabbacdcdcd or abbaabbacdecde Often a question is raised in the octave and answered in the sestet.
VILLANELLE: It consists of five tercets and a quatrain rhyming “aba” (with a variation in the quatrain). The first and third lines of the first tercet alternate as the final lines of the other stanzas; these lines are again repeated as the final two lines of the poem.