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An Alphabetical Listing of Poetry Forma

Acrostic is a word or message spelled out by the first letter of each line.
         Second Letter Acrostic is similar to the regular acrostic except that the second letter of each line spells out the word, message, or motto.
         Double/Mirrored/Shadow Acrostic each line ends with the same letter that it began with.


Ballad: For this lesson you'll be creating a Ballad poem. A short narrative poem with stanzas of two or four lines and usually a refrain. The story of a ballad can originate from a wide range of subject matter but most frequently deals with folk-lore or popular legends. They are written in straight-forward verse, seldom with detail, but always with graphic simplicity and force. Most ballads are suitable for singing and, while sometimes varied in practice, are generally written in ballad meter, i.e., alternating lines of iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter, with the last words of the second and fourth lines rhyming.

Bref Doluble is composed of 4 stanzas - 3 quatrains (or 4-line stanzas) and 1 couplet (or 2-line stanza). There is no specific line length; however the line lengths in the poem should be consistent
         abxc abxc xxxc ab,
         xaxc xbxc xbac ba,
         xabc xaxc xbxc ab,


Cento: "Comedy Newsletter (January 31, 2018) https://wantoncreation.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/on-poetry-part-5-comic-verse/ and https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/cento-poetic-form.

cinquain, Single is a 5-line verse with a syllable count/pattern of 2 / 4 / 6 / 8 / 2.
         Cinquain string is a 5-line verse with a syllable count/pattern of 2 / 4 / 6 / 8 / 2 which is repeated up to four times.
         Butterfly cinquain is a 9-line verse with a syllable pattern of 2 / 4 / 6 / 8 / 2 / 8 / 6 / 4 / 2.
         Cinquain crown is a sequence of 5 cinquain.
         Garland cinquain is a sequence of 6 cinquain with the 6th cinquain composed of lines from the proceeding 5 in this sequence Line 1 from Stanza 1, Line 2 from Stanza 2, Line 3 from Stanza 3, Line 4 from Stanza 4 and Line 5 from Stanza 5.
         Cinquain Challenge use the last line of the first stanza as the first line of the second stanza following this through the entire poem with several stanzas

Clerihew - a comic verse composed of 2 couples with a rhyme scheme of aabb. It was invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875-1956) when he was 16 years old. The poem is about a person or a character and usually names the person in the first line, while the second line ends with something that rhymes with the person's name.

Clarity Pyramid: The poem is centered. The first stanza, which is 3 synonyms, is 3 lines with a total of 5 syllables. Line 1 is 1 syllable, line 2 is 2 syllables, and line 3 is three syllables. In stanza line 5 if 5 syllables, line 6 is 6 syllables, and line 7 is 7 syllables. Stanza 3 which is line 8 is an 8 syllable quote.

Cote - uneven couplet, L1 being a single imperative verb, L2 is a glossing or expansion of L1.
written with meter and rhyme at the discretion of the poet

Cross is any poem shaped like across.
         Blessed Cross: Center aligned with a rhyme scheme of AABB CCDD EEFF GGHH AEGAEG (the final stanza uses lines repeated from stanzas 1, 3, 4—see below for details on that repetition). 5 stanzas with the first four stanzas containing 4 lines and stanza 5 containing 6 lines. Stanza 5 contains repeated lines from stanzas 1, 3 and 4. The repeated lines are: Line 1 repeated, Line 9 repeated, Line 13 repeated, Line 2 repeated, Line 10 repeated and Line 14 repeated. The syllable count in 1, 3, 4, and 5 are 6 or 8 (poet's choice but be consistent) and in line 2 there are 12 syllables. There is a total line count of 22 and the topic should be inspirational, spiritual, or religious.
         Cross of Salvation: Center align; 4 stanzas with 2 8-line stanzas, 1 with 4-lines and 1 with 3 lines - 8, 4, 8, 3 - making a total line count of 23. The syllable count per line is 4, 12, 6, 4 in that order. The topics are spiritual, inspirational or religious.

Chi-yen http://popularpoetryforms.blogspot.com/2014/04/chi-yen-shi.html


Diamonte - a 7-line contrast poem shaped like a diamond. The 1st line begins with 1 noun/subject. The 2nd line has 2 adjectives describing the noun in the 1st line. The 3rd line contains 3 words ending in ing & relating to the subject/noun. The 4th line has 2 words describing the beginning noun/subject & 2 words describing the closing synonym/antonym; this is where the shift occurs when using an antonym. The 5th line contain 3 ing words describing the ending synonym/antonym. The 6th line contains 3 adjectives describing the closing synonym/antonym. The 7th line contains the synonym or antonym for the noun in the 1st line.

Diatelle syllable structure: 1/2/3/4/6/8/10/12/10/8/6/4/3/2/1 and rhyme pattern: abbcbccaccbcbba. Centered.

Dizain is composed of 10-line stanzas with a rhyme scheme of a b a b b c c d c d and normally written in iambic pentameter.


Elegy is a poem written in response to a death. It mirrors three of the stages of grief or loss. First, laments the loss. Second, praises the deceased. Third, consolation.

Empat Empat is composed of 4 stanzas with a refrain. The rhyme scheme is Abab cAca adAd eaeA, and the A is the refrain. There are usually 8 to 10 syllables per line.

English Sonnet poem. A Sonnet is a poem consisting of 14 lines (iambic pentameter) with a particular rhyming scheme Examples of a rhyming scheme: #1) abab cdcd efef gg, #2) abba cddc effe gg, #3) abba abba cdcd cd A Shakespearean (English) sonnet has three quatrains and a couplet, and rhymes abab cdcd efef gg.

Epitaph - a brief poem inscribed on a tombstone usually praising the deceased person. This poem normally has rhyming lines.

Etheree, Single is 10-line verse with a syllable arrangement of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
         Reverse Etheree is a 10-line verse with a syllable arrangement of 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
         Double Etheree is a 20-line verse with a syllable arrangement of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.


Free Verse - an irregular form that is free of the traditional versification rules such as a fixed syllable count, meter, or rhyme. Line breaks are the most important consideration when writing free verse. When writing free verse look at natural pauses or suspense points.


Gensis ~ a form, conceived by Walt Wojtanik, based on the musical group of the same name. It consists of three six-line stanzas with a rhyme scheme of A B A C A B. There is no set meter for the lines.


Haiku, an unrhymed Japanese form, records the essence of a moment. In this form nature is combined with human nature. The syllable count of a sing haiku is 5/7/5.
         Haiku string consists of several haiku strung together.
         Haiku Sonnet https://dmarshall58.wordpress.com/haiku-sonnets/
         Crown of Haiku Sonnets https://dmarshall58.wordpress.com/haiku-sonnets/


Italian sonnet is composed of an octave, rhyming abbaabba, and a sestet, rhyming cdecde or cdcdcd, or in some variant pattern, but with no closing couplet. Usually, English and Italian Sonnets have 10 syllables per line, but Italian Sonnets can also have 11 syllables per line.



Kyrielle is a French form of rhyming poetry written in quatrains (a stanza consisting of 4 lines), and each quatrain contains a repeating line or phrase as a refrain (usually appearing as the last line of each stanza). Each line within the poem consists of only eight syllables. There is no limit to the amount of stanzas a Kyrielle may have, but three is considered the accepted minimum.
         Some popular rhyming schemes for a Kyrielle are: aabB, ccbB, ddbB, with B being the repeated line, or abaB, cbcB, dbdB. Mixing up the rhyme scheme is possible for an unusual pattern of: axaZ, bxbZ, cxcZ, dxdZ, etc. with Z being the repeated line. The rhyme pattern is completely up to the poet.
         Kyrielle Sonnet, a 14-line poem, with 3 rhyming quatrain stanzas and a non-rhyming couplet. This sonnet has a repeating phrase or line which is usually the last line. The first and last line of the first quatrain are repeated in the couplet. Possible rhyme schemes are AabB, ccbB, ddbB, AB -or- AbaB, cbcB, dbdB, AB.


Lai is composed of 9-lines with a rhyme scheme of aabaabaab, the a-lines have 5 syllables and the b-lines have 2 syllables.

Lanturne, Single is a lantern-shaped 5-line verse with a syllable count of 1, 2, 3, 4, 1 and centered.
         Lanturne string is two or more 5-line lantern-shaped verses with a syllable count of 1, 2, 3, 4, 1; 1, 2, 3, 4, 1; 1, 2, 3, 4, 1; etc. and centered.

Limerick is a 5-line nonsense or humorous rhyme, with a rhyme scheme of a-a-b-b-a and a syllable count of 9-9-6-6-9.
         Lines 1, 2, 5: weak, weak, STRONG, weak, weak, STRONG, weak, weak, STRONG, weak, weak
         Lines 3, 4: weak, weak, STRONG, weak, weak, STRONG, weak, weak


Minute poem is a 12-line rhyming verse composed of 60 syllable written in strict iambic meter. The poem is divided into 3 stanzas with a format of 8,4,4,4; 8,4,4,4; 8,4,4,4 and rhyme scheme of aabb, ccdd, eeff.

Mirrored Refrain - rhyming verse form constructed by Stephanie Repnyek. The poem is formed by three or more quatrains where two lines within the quatrain are the "mirrored refrain" or alternating refrain.
         The rhyme scheme is as follows: xaBA, xbAB, xaBA, xbAB, etc..x represents the only lines that do not rhyme within the poem. A and B represent the refrain.

Monorhyme is a poem which has all the same end rhymes


Naani is one of India's Telugu poems. It consists of 4 lines and contains 20 to 25 syllables. Naani means "an expression of one and all". The poem depends upon human relations and current events.

Nonet, Single is a 9-line poem with a syllable arrangement of 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. It can be on any subject with an optional rhyme scheme.
         Reverse Nonet is a 9-line poem with a syllable arrangement of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. It can have any subject and the rhyme scheme is optional.
         Double Nonet is an 18-line poem with a syllable arrangement. of 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. It can be about any subject with an optional rhyme scheme.


Ode is a poem praising and glorifying a person, place or thing.

Octameter is composed of 16 lines in 2 stanzas with a rhyme scheme of a/b/c/d/e/d/f/d g/h/c/g/i/g/d/d. Each line has 5 syllables.

Ottava Rima is a poem written in 8-line octives. Each line is of a 10 or 11 syllable count in the following rhyme:
         one octive poem: abababcc
         two octive poem: abababcc, dededeff
         three octive poem: abababcc, dededeff, ghghghii
         so on and so on


Pantoum consists of a series of quatrains rhyming ABAB in which the second and fourth lines of a quatrain recur as the first and third lines in the succeeding quatrain; each quatrain introduces a new second rhyme as BCBC, CDCD. The first line of the series recurs as the last line of the closing quatrain, and third line of the poem recurs as the second line of the closing quatrain, rhyming ZAZA.
         The design is simple:
                   Line 1
                   Line 2
                   Line 3
                   Line 4
         Stanza break
                   Line 5 (repeat of line 2)
                   Line 6
                   Line 7 (repeat of line 4)
                   Line 8
         Stanza break
                   Continue with as many stanzas as you wish, but the ending stanza then repeats the second and fourth lines of the previous stanza (as its first and third lines), and also repeats the third line of the first stanza, as its second line, and the first line of the first stanza as its fourth. So the first line of the poem is also the last.
         Stanza break
         Last stanza:
                   Line 2 of previous stanza
                   Line 3 of first stanza
                   Line 4 of previous stanza
                   Line 1 of first stanza


Quadrilew http://www.shadowpoetry.com/resources/wip/quadrilew.html

Quatern is a sixteen line French form composed of four quatrains. It is similar to the Kyrielle and the Retourne. It has a refrain that is in a different place in each quatrain. The first line of stanza one is the second line of stanza two, third line of stanza three, and fourth line of stanza four. A quatern has eight syllables per line. It does not have to be iambic or follow a set rhyme scheme.
                   line 1
                   line 2
                   line 3
                   line 4
         Stanza break
                   line 5
                   line 6 (line 1)
                   line 7
                   line 8
         Stanza break
                   line 9
                   line 10
                   line 11 (line 1)
                   line 12
         Stanza break
                   line 13
                   line 14
                   line 15
                   line 16 (line 1)

Quatrain is a 4-line verse with a specific rhyme scheme.
         Quatrain Rhyme Scheme Example 1: abab
         Quatrain Rhyme Scheme Example 2: envelope rhyme - abba
         Quatrain Rhyme Scheme Example 3: aabb
         Quatrain Rhyme Scheme Example 4: chain rhyme - aaba, bbcb, ccdc, dddd

Quinzaine an unrhymed verse of 15 syllables, which are distributed among three lines. The 1st line has 7 syllables, the 2nd line has 5 syllables, and the 3rd line has 3 syllables. The 1st line makes a statement while the 2nd and 3rd line ask a question pertaining to the statement.


Rispetto is an 8-line 2-stanza Italian poetry form written in quatrains. This form is normally written in iambic tetrameter, but a heroic Rispetto is written in Iambic pentameter. Both with a rhyme scheme of abab ccdd.

Rondelet, French form, composed of a single septet that has 2 rhymes and 1 refrain. The rhyme scheme is AbAabbA with the capital letters being the refrain. The length of the refrain is either tetra-syllabic or dimeter while the length of the other lines are either octasyllabic or tetrameter.


Sedoka An unrhymed poem composed of two 3-line katauta with a syllable arrangement of 5 7 7, 5 7 7. A sedoka is a pair of katauta which address a single subject from different perspectives. A katauta is a 3-line unrhymed poem with a syllable count of 5 7 7.
         There are 2 two types of sedoka
                   Single sedoka consisting of two 3-line katauta with syllable counts of 5 7 7, 5 7 7.
                   Double sedoka consisting of four 3-line katauta with a syllable count of 5 7 7, 5 7 7, 5 7 7, 5 7 7.

Single Senryu is a 3-line poem of 17 syllables or less with a traditional syllable count of 5 7 5.
         Senryu string is a poem containing more then one senyru
                   Structure: setting followed by subject and action i.e. line 1 setting, line 2 subject, line 3 action

Septolet: A 7-line poem containing 14 words with a break between the 2 sections. Both sections or stanzas deal with the same subject and create a picture.

Shape poem - takes on the shape of the subject. The text of the poem has to be in the shape of the subject.

Song is an expression of a poet's personal emotions, meant to be sung. Lyrics in a song contain verses (lines that make up a song; sung poem) and a chorus (a repeating verse in a song (refrain).


Tanka An unrhymed Japanese 5-line poem consisting of 5 7 5 7 7. There are 5 kana om the 1st line, 7 kana in the 2nd, 5 kana in the 3rd, 7 kana in the 4th, and 7 kana in the 5th.
         There are 3 ways to write a tanka
                   Method 1: 5 line of 5 7 5 7 7 replacing one syllable for each kana
                   Method 2: 5 lines of 31 syllables or less following the short/long/short/long/long line length form.
                   Method 3: 5 line os 31 syllables or less allowing the poem to dictate the length of the lines.

Terza Rima is a poem with an eleven syllable count in each line and a rhyming scheme of aba, bcb, cdc, dd.

Terza Rima Sonnet is a poem that has an eleven syllable count in each line and a rhyming scheme of aba, bcb, cdc, ded, ee.

Tetractys, Single a 5-line verse of 1, 2, 3, 4, 10 syllables (total of 20)
         Double Tetractys a 10-line poem of 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 10, 4, 3, 2, 1 syllables (total of 40).
         Triple Tetractys a 15-line verse of 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 10, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 10 syllables (total of 60).
         Quadruplet Tetractys a 20-line poem of 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 10, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 10, 4, 3, 2, 1 syllables (total of 80).

Triolet is a poetic form consisting of only 8 lines. Within a Triolet, the 1st, 4th, and 7th lines repeat, and the 2nd and 8th lines do as well. The rhyme scheme is simple: ABaAabAB, capital letters representing the repeated lines."
         "Make writing a Triolet more challenging! Make each line 8 syllables in length (4 metrical feet), written in iambic tetrameter (the more common way), or try it in pentameter (English version) where each line only has 10 syllables (5 metrical feet)."

Tongue Twister poem is made up of lines/verses that are hard to say when read aloud by using similar consonant sounds in succession. Use alliteration.

Trolaan is composed of 4 quatrains which line in the quatrain beginning with the same letter with a rhyme scheme of abab. Stanza 2 uses the second letter of the first line of the first stanza and the first letter. Stanza 3 uses the second letter of the first line of the seconds stanza as the first letter. Stanza 4 uses the second letter of the first line of the third stanza as the first letter. No specific line length or meter is required.

Tyburn - a 6 line poem composed of 2, 2, 2, 2, 9, 9 syllables. The 1st 4 lines rhyme and are all descriptive words. The last 2 lines rhyme and use 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th lines as the 5th through 8th syllables.



Vahid - this form is based on the 19 year cycle of the Baha'i Calender. Vahid means unity and has a numerical value of 19. Each stanza in a vahid consists of 19 syllables. A vahid can have anywhere from 1 to 19 stanzas with each stanza having 19 syllables, but without any specific line count in the stanza. There is no required rhyme scheme so poets can use rhyme as they wish. The poem must focus on a specific theme or subject which usually makes up part of the title. It isn't required that the subject or theme be mentioned in the poem itself; however, all stanzas must suggest something about the theme or subject. Punctuation and capitalization is left up to the poet.



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