Poetry is an excellent way to express yourself. Unlike other types of writing, poetry can be as vague or specific as you want it to be. Poetry has many different forms, and you can choose to use something concrete like sonnet form or you can write free verse, which is completely up to you, with no pattern or rhyme scheme. There’s no right or wrong way to write a poem, but let’s look at some poetry forms to get us started.
Blank verse is often used as type of long-form poetry. While blank verse doesn’t rhyme, it’s most common to use a specific meter like iambic pentameter.(If you’re coming in cold, meter is a specific structure in a poem that gives it some boundaries, such as deciding on a length [number of lines or syllables or stanzas].)
Free verse takes it one step further by not imposing any rules. In free verse, there’s no rhyme scheme and no meter. Everything about it is completely up to the author.
This is a very broad term in that any poem that rhymes (no matter its rhyme scheme which will vary from poem to poem) is called rhymed poetry, but there might be other structural titles that could be used for a rhymed poetry. Most poetry fits into multiple categories, but if they only fit into one, that’s great.
Narrative poetry is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a poem that tells a narrative (or story). This can be long-form or short-form. There are whole novels (called verse novels) that are long-form versions of narrative poetry.
There’s a very good chance that you know what a haiku is as it’s a very popular form of poetry. It’s short and is often taught to children as an introduction to poetry form, but it can also be very challenging. This form requires that you restrict your poem to three lines with the first consisting of five syllables, the second line consisting of seven, and the last consisting of five.
Almost everyone would recognize a Shakespearean sonnet, but there are many types of sonnets. While they all have 14 lines, the rhyme scheme will depend on whether it’s a Shakespearean sonnet, a Petrarchan sonnet, and a Spenserian sonnet.
A limerick has fine lines and a specific AABBA rhyme scheme and is usually some sort of snippet of a comedic tale.
This really just scrapes the surface of poetry forms. If you’re interested in more poetry forms let us know in the comments, and we can talk about it more in depth!