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A Guide To Poetry Styles & Terms

   By: Rose DesRochers

Poetry is made up of so many specific patters and language. There are as many forms of poetry as there are writers who pen it. Here I have gather some resources to specific patterns of poetry and I have attempted to describe for you the figurative language found in poetry.

Specific Patterns of Poetry

• What is Traditional Poetry?

"Traditional" poetry is the kind of poetry we hear most often. Traditional poetry has a certain form

ex: Humpty-Dumpty sat on a wall,

Humpty-Dumpty had a great fall;

• What is Free Verse Poetry?

Free verse is poetry that is written without proper rules about form, rhyme, rhythm, meter, etc.

The greatest American writer of free verse is probably Walt Whitman

With free verse the poem can tell a story, describe a person, animal, feeling or object. They can serious, sad, funny or educational. There are no limits

• What is a tongue twister?

An expression that is difficult to articulate clearly; "`Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.' is a tongue twister"

•What is ode poetry?

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

• What is Monorhyme Poetry?

A poem in which all the lines have the same end rhyme.


Late for school

I'm looking like a big fool

My brother thinks he rules

While I'm loosing my cool

• What is monody Poetry?

A monody is a poem in which one person laments another's death, as in Tennyson's Break, Break, Break, or Wordsworth's She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways.

• What is Concrete Poetry?

Poetry in which the poet's intent is conveyed by the shape formed by the letters, words, or symbols that make up the poem rather than by the conventional arrangement of words

Here is a good example of a concrete poem:

• What is Quatrain Poetry?

A Quatrain is a poem consisting of four lines of verse with a specific rhyming scheme.

A few examples of a quatrain rhyming scheme's are as follows:

#1) abab

#2) abba -- envelope rhyme

#3) aabb

#4) aaba, bbcb, ccdc, dddd -- chain rhyme

• How to write Pantoum poetry

•What is Palindrome Poetry?

• Forms of Poetry for Children

• Diamonte Poetry

• What is an acrostic poem?

• Acrostic Poetry

• How to Write a Clerihew Poem

• The Art of Haiku Poetry

• How to Write Limerick Poetry

• How to write Cinquain Poetry

What is a metaphor?

A figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity

Understanding metaphors

What is a simile?

A figure of speech that expresses a resemblance between things of different kinds (usually formed with `like' or `as')

• The Simile Satellite Activities

This site explores the function, form and effect of simile in poetry.

What is alliteration?

the repetition of consonant sounds - usually at the beginning of words

What is onomatopoeia?

a word that sounds like the thing it describes


splash, wow, gush, kerplunk

What is a trope?

The intentional use of a word or expression figuratively, i.e., used in a different sense from its original significance in order to give vividness or emphasis to an idea. Some important types of trope are: antonomasia, irony, metaphor, metonymy and synecdoche. Sidelight: Strictly speaking, a trope is the figurative use of a word or expression, while figure of speech refers to a phrase or sentence used in a figurative sense. The two terms, however, are often confused and used interchangeably

Examples: Metaphor, simile, oxymoron, and hyperbole are all kinds of figurative language.

What is personification?

A person who represents an abstract quality; "she is the personification of optimism"

What is Synonyms?

Words or phrases which have similar meaning.

What is a stanza?

A fixed number of lines of verse forming a unit of a poem

What is imagery?

Image is language that evokes one or all of the five senses: seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching.

What is a muse?

Muse: the source of an artist's inspiration; "Euterpe was his muse"

To get a list of other Poetic Glossary terms Please see Todays-Woman list or Robert Shubinski has assembled an excellent on-line resource

This link also gives the term, definition and example of literary terms.

About the Author

Rose is a published author from Canada Ontario and is also the founder of a community for men and women over 18, where writers/poets/columnists meet and exchange ideas, contest, rate and review and help each other succeed in the writing industry.

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