Learning about the different types of poetry is often easier when you review examples of the different types. Each example gives you the opportunity to see the differences between the style and tone of each type.
Each type of poetry is characterized by its own style. By understanding the various styles, you are better able to learn the variances between each of the different types.
The Old Pond by Matshuo Basho is an example of a haiku:
Truth in Advertising by Yahia Lababidi is another example of a haiku:
Because free verse poems are the least well defined, there are numerous examples of free verse poems. This excerpt from This is Marriage, is by Marianne Moore is one such example:
This institution, perhaps one should say enterpriseout of respect for which one says one need not change one's mind about a thing one has believed in, requiring public promises of one's intention to fulfil a private obligation: I wonder what Adam and Eve think of it by this time, this fire-gilt steel alive with goldenness;
This excerpt from Little Father by Li-Young Lee is another example of free verse poetry:
I buried my father in my heart.
Now he grows in me, my strange son,
My little root who won’t drink milk,
Little pale foot sunk in unheard-of night,
Little clock spring newly wet
In the fire,little grape, parent to the future
Wine, a son the fruit of his own son,
Little father I ransom with my life.
A cinquain is a five-line poem inspired by Japanese haiku's. There are many different variations of cinquain including American Cinquains, didactic cinquains, reverse cinquains, butterfly cinquains and crown cinquains
Memories of summerOak
An epic is a long and narrative poem that normally tells a story about a hero or an adventure. Epics can be oral stories or can be poems in written form. The Illiad and the Odyssey are examples of famous epic poems, as is The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
By the shore of Gitchie Gumee,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
At the doorway of his wigwam,
In the pleasant Summer morning,
Hiawatha stood and waited.
Ballad poems also tell a story, like epic poems do. However, ballad poetry is often based on a legend or a folk tale. Ballad poems may take the form of songs and may contain a moral or a lesson.
Oh the ocean waves may roll,
And the stormy winds may blow,
While we poor sailors go skipping aloft
And the land lubbers lay down below, below, below
And the land lubbers lay down below.
While a name verse poem can be as simple as using an adjective to describe a person that begins with each letter of that person's name, these poems can also be far more beautiful works of art. For example, here is a name poem for a person named Alexis:
“Alexis seems quite shy and somewhat frail,
Leaning, like a tree averse to light,
Evasively away from her delight.
X-rays, though, reveal a sylvan sprite,
Intense as a bright bird behind her veil,
Singing to the moon throughout the night.”
As you can see, each line of the poem begins with the letters of the name Alexis. This can be done with any name - for example, the following name poem is a poem for a person named Taylor:
“Taylor likes each sentiment to be
Appropriate to its own time and place.
Years may roll like waves across her shore,
Leaving none of what there was before,
Obliterating every sign of grace.
Reason not, says Taylor, with the sea!”
The poems of William Shakespeare provide excellent types of poetry examples for sonnets.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
Shakespeare was not the only source of sonnets.
Oh the pirate stars, they have no mercy!
Masquerading as hope they tell their lies;
Only the young can hear their lullabies.
But I am barren and I am thirsty
Since she has gone. No hope is there for me.
I will roam and curse this earth and these skies--
Death from life which Zeus sovereign denies.
My heart's ill shall the whole world's illness be
Till she is returned-- my daughter, my blood--
From the dark hand of Hades to my care.
With my tears these mortals shall know a flood
To show Poseidon's realm desert and bare.
No myrtle shall flower, no cypress bud
Till the gods release her...and my despair.
Job came down
in awoosh, outstretched
and gliding into the horizon.
flight arrested by the beckoning marsh.
His greatness bears much
yet not the anguish of ancient prophecy.
Situated grievances weigh feathery
on this long, strong back.
Unconscious emotion numbs
while time drifts out
another sun salted day.
There are over 50 types of poetry. Poetry is categorized by the number of lines in the poem, the words in the poem, whether it rhymes or not, and what it is about.
Some types of poetry examples include haiku, free verse, sonnets, and name poems, although there are many more types as well.
There is a very wide definition of what constitutes poetry, and although some types of poetry can be grouped together in specific styles, creativity is the key to poetry and a new poet can choose to write in any style he wants, even if it doesn't fit into one of the recognized types.
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