10 Short Poetic Forms

I’ve put together a couple poetic form lists by nationality (French poetic forms and Japanese poetic forms) recently, but I thought it’d be fun to assemble a list of short poetic forms. Like less than 10 lines short poems!


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Learn how to write sestina, shadorma, haiku, monotetra, golden shovel, and more with The Writer’s Digest Guide to Poetic Forms, by Robert Lee Brewer.

This e-book covers more than 40 poetic forms and shares examples to illustrate how each form works. Discover a new universe of poetic possibilities and apply it to your poetry today!

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Here are 10 Short Poetic Forms:

Click on the links to learn more about each form.

  1. Gogyohka. 5-liner developed by Enta Kusakabe.
  2. Hay(na)ku. 3-liner created by Eileen Tabios.
  3. Lune. Two 3-line versions created by Robert Kelly and Jack Collom.
  4. Magic 9. Abacadaba 9-liner that’s poetic magic.
  5. Nonet. The disappearing 9-line poem.
  6. Rispetto. Italian 8-line poetic form.
  7. Shadorma. Spanish 6-line poem (that I find addictive).
  8. Sijo. Korean 3-line poem.
  9. Tricubes. Mathematical poem introduced by Phillip Larrea.
  10. Triolet. 8-line French form (that’s one of my all-time faves).

Have fun trying each form! And let me know which short forms I left off (besides, you know, haiku and tanka).


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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4 thoughts on “10 Short Poetic Forms

  1. PowerUnit

    Short forms are great for PAD
    Makes it easy to get poems written
    They are not merely fads
    but make it easy to pluck the chicken
    Short forms are great for PAD
    Nothing wrong, nothing rotten
    no writing grieved or stricken
    Short forms are great for PAD
    Makes it easy to get poems written

  2. PressOn


    No rondelet
    is on this list of skimpy verse;
    no rondelet
    is listed on this list today
    amidst ten forms compact and terse,
    and so, in seven lines I curse:
    no rondelet!


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