Types of Poetry (Genres)

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Last updated: December 10, 2019

Sonnet
A 14 lined poem with a regular rhyme scheme.

It lends itself to the concise expression of thought and emotion

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Narrative
Tells a story, has a plot, characters, and dialogue. Does not have to follow a rhyme scheme.

Lyrics
Expresses the poets observations and feelings. Tends to be in the musical nature

Haiku
A Japanese poem that has 3 lines. The first and third lines have 5 syllables, and the second line has 7 syllables, 17 in total. Deals with natural imagery.

It’s also tells us the season in 1 word.

Cinquain
A 5 lined poem. The first line is the title (a noun).

The second line is 2 words to describe the title. The 3 line expresses action in 3 words. The 4 line is 4 words that convey a feeling or a statement about the title. The 5 line is a synonym for the title

Limerick
A light humorous verse. (a funny poem) Non-sensical in nature. A 5 lined poem, and lines 1,2,5 rhyme while 3,4 rhyme.

Free Verse
It doesn’t need to rhyme, doesn’t a regular rhythm. Doesn’t follow the rules.

Ballad
A song like poem that tells a story. Has 4-6 line stanzas with regular rhythms and rhyme schemes. Lines repeated at the end of each stanza.

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