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Poem Types: A List of Poetry Forms

Categories: Poetic Forms, Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog, What's New.

One thing I really appreciate about poetry is that there are a vast array of poetry styles and poetry forms available to poets. While some are traditional rhyming poems (such as sonnets or limericks), there are also many other poem types, including free verse poems, sestinas, and the shadorma.

Before this blog moved to its new WordPress platform, I had a post that collected all the poem types explained on Poetic Asides. With the move, all the URLs changed and some posts apparently disappeared into the ether. So here’s a new post collecting what I can find, and I’ll fill in the gaps as we poem along. Enjoy!

Here’s my list of poetry types and forms:


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About Robert Lee Brewer

Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

15 Responses to Poem Types: A List of Poetry Forms

  1. Marjory MT says:

    THANK YOU, this is Super. I am fiscinated with the many different forms. Check the Villanelle first since the name intrigued me the first time I saw it.
    So had a go using – sticking to my ongoing theme about the BAY.

    • Marjory MT says:

      (VILLANELLE ) A SONG of the BAY
      Waves cross bay to roll up the beach
      sun distributing morning warmth
      before the tide slips out of reach.

      Seagull swoops in a graceful arch
      out for a breakfast of fresh clams
      Waves cross bay to roll up the beach

      Drift wood lays where sun left it bleached
      ‘waiting beachcomber’s happy to claim
      before the tide slips out of reach.

      Mothers bring young children to teach
      of shells, sand, birds, fish and tide as
      waves cross bay to roll up the beach.

      They listen to the seagulls screech
      as dogs and children chase them away
      before the tide slips out of reach.

      Then feast on grapes, plums and a peach
      served with hotdogs and ice cream as
      waves cross bay to roll up the beach
      before the tide slips out of reach.

      May 2012 MMT

  2. mrs.mjbauer says:

    What a great teaching resource? I will use this personally and for my students.

  3. I like the discipline that form poetry forces upon the poet, helping the poetic brain to search for the best words and thoughts to fit the form and still be poetry. It helps me be more creative sometimes. When your other list disappeared, I was disappointed. Thanks for this one.

  4. Bruce Niedt says:

    Thanks for providing this list again, Robert. Any chance you might be running another “invented form” (a.k.a. nonce) contest? I’ve got one I’d like to enter.

  5. Susan Budig says:

    I run a poetry group over on Gather solely dedicated to form poetry. What interests and excites me, Robert, is that you have quite a number of forms that I haven’t tried yet. Each month our group learns a new form via my column. I’ve presented almost 40 forms and now, with your list, I have many more I can present.

    My link above is a list of all the forms I’ve featured. There are quite a few that are not included on your list. Your list will supply me with new forms for at least a year!

  6. K. McGee says:

    Perfect! This is exactly the kind of reference to form that I needed. Thank you!

  7. I have marked this for future reference. BIG THANKS!

  8. Miss R. says:

    Hey, this is really sweet!! Thanks so much for providing this reference material; I will definitely be making use of it.

  9. Willy says:

    Thank you SO much, Robert!! Great to have this reference back; ULTRA-useful.

  10. PKP says:

    :) on the bookmarking De…

  11. De Jackson says:

    THANK YOU, Robert! I will bookmark this link this time. It used to be easy to go back and find it, in the old WD format. I used it a LOT. And now, can again. Thanks so much! :)

  12. PKP says:

    YAY! Thanks RLB. delighted to see the return of the list of forms!

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