Reposted with edits so nobody has to wade through multiple multi-year-old posts with errors and annoying formatting in it and all!
If you see any mistakes or wish to suggest or contribute changes or additions, PM myself and/or Astinus!
Types of Poetry: This post!
Poetry FAQ: 2nd post
Poetry Reviewing Guide: 3rd post
Advice for Writing Poetry: 4th post
Types of Poetry
Written by Kyosuke and Scytheteen
Sonnet additions by JX Valentine
I have decided to post a little summary of the different types of poetry. There are plenty of others, but these are the most common ones. Each comes with a link to wikipedia for further examples and explanation - do check them out!
Haiku: A short, Japanese type of poetry that is usually associated with nature or has a seasonal reference. No rhyming occurs in it, and is only three lines long, with five syllables making up the first and last line, and three in the middle, totalling seventeen syllables.
Tanka: Another Japanese form that relies on the number of syllables, and lines with no rhyming except the forth and fifth line. Part of a genre of Japanese Poetry called 'Waka', and is the most popular of it.
Acrostic: A type of poetry that spells out a word with the first letters vertically, with that word typically serving as the theme or an important aspect of the poem. It could be about anything, just as long as the first letter of the word spells something out.
Cinquain: Another type that has a total of five lines, that relates to a topic. There are five things that must go in a cinquain, one for each line in this order: the title, a description of your topic, a action relating to it, your feeling towards it, and another title that relates to the first one. A certain number of syllables per line is also a feature of the cinquain, which varies from form to form. For instance, the usual 'Crapsey' form is as so:
Free Verse: A poem that simple does not have any sort of "rules" applied to it. They do not need a specific number of syllables per line, nor do they need to rhyme, and so forth.
Sonnets: A poem that consists of 14 lines and has a strict rhyming schme and structure, which varies from sonnet type to sonnet type - for instance a Shakespearean, or English, sonnet consists of 14 lines, each line containing ten syllables. Iambic pentameter is often employed for sonnets.
More on sonnets by JX Valentine!
Technically speaking, there's three types of sonnets. All of them follow iambic pentameter (five iambs -- or sets of one stressed and one unstressed syllable -- to each line) and have a particular rhyme scheme. However, it's how those lines are arranged that makes all the difference.
Petrarchan sonnets (also called Italian sonnets) consist of one octave (or two quatrains) and one sestet. Thus, the sonnet usually follows the rhyme scheme ABBAABBA CDECDE (or CDCDCD), where all of the A lines rhyme with each other, all of the B lines rhyme, and so forth. It usually tells gives some sort of philosophical statement about an ideal. You can see an example here.
You most often see Shakespearean sonnets dealing out the same sort of philosophical statement as a Petrarchan, but Shakespeareans usually like to connect it to some sort of object, such as a toaster. The quatrains are spent describing the toaster and what it does, whereas the couplet connects the toaster's function to life.
If you want an example of a Shakespearean sonnet, your best bet is actually looking at one of Shakespeare's sonnets.
Narrative poems: Narrative poems are essentially poms with a plot - they tell a story. They may be short or long, complex or simple. Examples of narrative poems include epics or ballads - famous examples include The Charge of the Light Brigade, The Raven and epics like Iliad, and Odyssey
Diamonte poems: Diamonte is just what it sounds like, diamond shaped poems, that are written (or typed) in seven lines. They resemble cinquain type poetry, but with no rhyming. Each line consists of seven parts - for instance:
Limerick - A limerick is humorous nonsense verse consisting of a triplet and couplet, making it a five line poem. Lines one, two, and five are the triplet and rhyme. Lines three and four form a rhyming couplet.
Ballad- a ballad is a form of verse, often a narrative set to music. It is usually very structured and typically has the second and fourth lines rhyming with each other.
(following by Scytheteen)
A list poem is exactly what it sounds like: a poem composed of a list. What makes a list poem different than an ordinary list is the element of emotions. Often the emotional "punch" of a list poem is contained in the last line.
See how the last has that "punch"? That's what your goal is when writing in list form.
An alphabet poem is similar to an acrostic, but instead of writing a wrord down the left-had side of your page, write the alphabet and then use each letter as the first letter of the first word of each line.
A found poem is simply a poem that you find when you lest expect it. The example given below is a poem that the writer "found" while driving along a highway. Keep your eyes open: poetry can be found anywhere and everywhere! You just have to look for it.
Two-voice poetry is written for two people to preform, if read out loud. The poetry usually has two columns-one for each person who is reading the poem. Each person reading the poem reads the text in one of the columns. Sometimes, the poet wants the readers to say something at the same time; so the poet writes the words on the same line in each column. These poems often sound like a dialogue for each poem.
Just like all poetry, poems for two voices need an idea. Nature makes great subject matter for poetry for two voices, but two voices can also be written about school, current events, or events in literature.
The ode is a type of poetry where you are giving praise to a person, object, feeling, place, or anything else you can think of! Usually in an ode, you are directing the poem towards the object, as if talking to it and thanking it.
An example of an ode can be found http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=240318
The Five W's Poem
Each line of this poem answers on of the W questions (who, what, where, when and why). Each line may be a word, phrase, or clause, but be consistent in choice throughout the five lines. The order of the questions may changed to suit a purpose, to give a more succinct meaning, or in order to impart a more exciting climax.
An example of this poem can be found http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=240993
The villanelle is a very difficult form of poetry. It is a highly specialized form and is difficult to write without seeming trite or repetitive. it is a French Verse form with 19 lines divided into 5 tercets and one quatrain. Two rhymes or repeated lines predominate. This often gives the poem a cyclical feeling.
A very difficult type of poetry indeed, but it can be done!
Hopefully this will help you in writing poetry!
Written by Natsuki
Well, here's a bit of an edited version of the Poetry FAQ we all know and love. XD
Q: What is 'flow' and how do I know if my poem has it?
Well, when people say "Your poem's flow should be fixed", they are saying that when you read the poem, it sounds disfigured and choppy. Almost as though it isn't finished. To be exact, 'flow' is just how smoothly your poem fits with itself when you read it. If your poem has several different things going on at once, but you don't have transitions there help guide the poem along, your poem is considered to have no flow.
Q: Does my poem have to rhyme?
Most certainly not. A poem is anything that comes from the heart. Rhyming is never a component to writing that is absolutely necessary. Some prefer to rhyme, while others use good word choices to make their poems have a greater impact on the reader.
Q: Is there a length limit to poems?
Your poem and/or song write can be of any length or format. Some people prefer the short-and-sweet approach, where their poems are about one stanza long, yet the poem still gets it's meaning out clearly. Others make incredibly long poems which have greater impacts on the reader in most cases, but this does not mean a longer poem is a better one. You can always revise and revise your poems to make them better.
Q: What do I do about punctuation?
When someone reviews your poems, they might say that you need a period here or a comma there. In case they don't really specify what they mean, here's what they're talking about. ^.~
Now, when writing a poem, punctuation is a large factor of good poem etiquette. You need to have some form of punctuation at the end of each and every line. Here's an example:
I saw in the forest, a demon take flight,
Pounding its wings with all of its might.
The demon, it soared, just overhead,
Rather than running, I gazed instead.
I could hear its heart, steady and strong,
Helping it forth as its wings pulled it along.
The demon was old, yet he didn't know,
For the world is changing, to and fro.
As I gazed upon the beautiful sight,
Seeing this monster take its last flight.
I thought to myself, how could this be,
That this monster had come to me?
With one last plunge, the demon fell,
Diving into the very depths of Hell.
As I gazed upon this demon's flight,
I thought to myself, what a beautiful sight.
Notice the commas and periods at the end of each line. This not only shows proper usage of grammar but it also increases the flow's quality as well as the overall appearance of the poem.
Well, there's some information for you. If you have anything else to suggest, PM it to bobandbill or Astinus! Well, keep writing those awesome poems everyone! ;D
Poetry Reviewing Guide
Written by Other Lip
I thought I might post this to help people who are not sure how to review poetry. (If you have an idea of a good way to review poetry, than please PM it.)
When reviewing poetry there are a few things you can comment on:
- A good poem does not use cliche upon cliche (there are exceptions however, such as when the cliche used sarcastically, or when used properly). Examples of cliches are: lost paradise, hand in hand, or so forth.
- look at how natural the poem sounds. If a strange, uncommon word is used, then it may not sound natural. Same with oddly worded lines, often used to create a rhyme, or keep in rhythm. An example of this is the following:
As for actually reviewing, keep the above list in mind.
I prefer to review each stanza, and pick out the cliches and odd lines, but we all have different ways of reviewing.
When giving advice for poems, be tactful, and don't rewrite it for them. You might want to make suggestions for replacing an irregular word, but know that it is not your poem.
Also keep in mind that meaning is always something you should comment on. Pointing out cliches and odd lines is not the only thing one can do. If the meaning is very stereotyped and rather shallow, it does not mean the poem is bad, but it is worth commenting on. Sometimes a poem could have a great meaning but might not be written very well.
It is possible that someone may have a great idea but may not be able to write it. Don't bash poems for not making any sense - it is always possible that the meaning is simply not clear, and it's not good form to flame in any case.
Naturally, be civil to others in your reviews too!
By Other Lip
Advice for writing poetry
Written by ~Ozy~
The Art of Poetry: I don't know what to tell you here. Poetry is personal to both the poet and the reader and cannot truly be defined. I'm hardly an authority on the subject, but here is what I believe: Poetry is almost entirely emotional. Thus, a poem should inspire an emotion in the reader, and reflect the emotional state of the poet at the time of writing it. I also believe that poetry cannot be forced, in a way that poetry rules the poet (or, at least, the IDEA of the poem does) and that it can only be written when the muse strikes, beats you upside the head, stabs you, or ties you up and leaves you for dead in your basement, whatever you prefer.
Now, onto the other stuff. First, a brief talk about...
Revision: Yes, I know. I sound like your English teacher. Nasty, eh? Who wants to revise? The answer is relatively simple. Your readers do. Good poetry is not like taking diction from the divine, whatever you may consider that to be. Good poetry takes time, effort and a careful consideration of every word. Remember, you don't have as much space as in a story, making every word count all the more (unless you're writing an epic, in which case I commend you). After your basic spelling and grammar checks, you might revise another ten times and only change one or two words each time. You also might eliminate entire stanzas, scrap the entire thing or rewrite it from the ground up. In short, if your poem is reviewed you should be able to defend everything you have done. The critic might be right, but it shouldn't be an automatic thing. You should make your poem stronger with each successive draft, more interesting to read and more emotional.
Point 1: Word Choice This is a major problem I see in many of the poems posted here. The language simply doesn't interest me. In general, it is repetitive and bland, or in some cases annoyingly over-the-top to avoid the former problem. I cannot emphasize how carefully your words must be chosen to be meaningful both to yourself and to the reader.
Point 2: Mechanics Your poetry should be free of punctuation, spelling, and grammatical errors. Period.
Point 3: Rhyming, Rhythm, and Meter Poetry can rhyme. It can have beautiful pentameter, or hexameter, or whatever and have a word-perfect rhythm. It can also do none of these things and still be poetry. What is most important is that your poetry feels natural. If you sacrifice meaning, or use limited and repetitive words for the sake of rhyme your work seems very amateurish. If the rhyme or rhythm come, they come. Don't make them.
Subsection A: A Brief Guide to Poetic Meter Consider the most basic meter, iambic pentameter. This consists of five poetic feet per line. A poetic foot consists of two syllables, either unstressed-stressed or stressed-unstressed. The former is considered iambic, the latter is trochaic. Thus, a line of poetry written in iambic pentameter would consist of ten syllables, five unstressed and five unstressed with the unstressed coming first. This is the most popular meter because it closely mirrors natural English speech.
Trochaic generally has a much more emphatic and forceful nature and can be much more difficult to write in.
Of course, pentameter is not the only meter. It runs from (at least, in terms of easy writing) tetrameter (six syllables, three poetic feet) to septameter (fourteen syllables, seven poetic feet). So, by way of example, a line of iambic quatrameter would read:
Subsection B: The Difference Between Meter and Rhythm This is a somewhat abstract point for two more concrete things. Rhythm and meter are indeed linked. When governed by a set of rules, rhythm becomes meter, however, if you switch meters, or write in no particular meter consistently, your piece has a rhythmic structure free of meter.
Point 4: The Necessity of Imagery This is another pet peeve of mine. Poetry that lacks strong imagery simply isn't interesting to read. Images, particularly the more natural, visceral ones have great power to influence emotion. Consider the following lines of poetry.
Point 5: Playing with Language Yes, I know I spoke strongly in favor of mechanics earlier, but there are times when simply stepping a little outside the box can have a very intriguing, positive effect on your work. An odd sentence structure or image can help draw the reader into the poem. Consider the following lines from Flames by Billy Collins.
All right, I'm done lecturing now. I hope reading this has been moderately valuable to you. Most of all, I hope you continue writing poetry and improving. I know I have a long ways to go myself. Thank you for your time. As a last note, I suggest you read the following poets:
Percy Bysshe Shelly
George Gordon (Lord Byron)
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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