Do you ever experiment with different writing styles? Or do you always write the same types of poetry time? With over 100 styles to choose from, it’s high time you challenge yourself and spice things up! This article will explore the 20 most popular styles in today’s world. We’ll go over their origins, use cases, and look at some modern examples that will help you find your favourite.
Table of Contents
20 Types Of Poetry
A sonnet has 14 lines, and each line consists of ten syllables with five stresses per verse (except for the last one). The first two verses are an introduction to the rest of the poem; they should include a general idea about love or romance – this sets up expectations as you read on through it!
Free Verse Poetry has no set form but instead relies solely upon rhythmical patterns created by natural speech and any other devices such as repetition, which may be used freely within them without regard towards metre.
Free Verses can also have some kind of order: they might follow one speaker’s thoughts over time, explore different perspectives about something from many people, or be organised by images, sounds and other sensory impressions.
A Haiku is a poem with three lines with 17 syllables in the first line followed by five on each subsequent verse. It also usually contains some reference to nature as well an observation about life.
Haikus are often written without punctuation so that readers can interpret them differently depending on their moods at any given time, making for more personal readings.
A Limerick is a verse form with five lines with the first, second and fifth having three syllables, while; in contrast to this pattern of odd-numbered verses are even-numbered ones with two.
An Ode is a form of poetry usually written to honour a person, place or event. Odes are often written in a grandiose and formal style.
Narrative poetry is a style of poetry that tells a story. It is most common in children’s literature, but it is also prevalent in poems about historical events.
Epic poetry is a grand or formal style of poetry. It usually tells an important story or event, such as the Iliad by Homer, which tells of Achilles’ anger at Agamemnon’s insult that led him into battle with Hector for his countrymen.
The term “epic” comes from Latin, meaning long poem about heroic deeds (from Greek ἐπίκομαι epikómai). Epic poems are often composed of themes like religion, mythology, romance or history. They can be either narrative poetry, lyric verse narratives set apart within larger prose works—such examples include Beowulf —or lyrical ballads-like compositions not part of any other work.
A ballad usually tells an epic story, but it can also speak of the author’s personal experience or feelings on any subject matter. The term “ballads” comes from Middle English and Old French, meaning dance song (from Latin balare).
Balladeers are famous folk singers like Bob Dylan, who sang these types of songs when he was an up and coming performer.
“Balladesque”, meaning ‘something similar’, has become synonymous among some people when referring specifically to this type of poetry form; however, there isn’t one specific definition because different people have different interpretations of what it means.
The balladeers often used a form called “rhyme royal”, an English verse with four lines in iambic pentameter, each line having ten syllables and the rhyming pattern ABABBCBCC or sometimes AA’BB’. These poems are typically about love and tell stories from history and other specific events.
A Villanelle is a style of poetry that originated in France and is typically about love. It has nineteen lines, with five tercets followed by a quatrain that repeats each stanza’s first line as its last two words (AABABCCDD). Villanelles were made famous by the French poet Maurice Scève in 1553.
Villanelles have two refrains repeated at different points throughout each stanza, with one refrain usually occurring after every three lines. In contrast, another occurs only once per verse but before its last line, so they both end on identical words.
An Elegy often expresses a sense of loss and regret what might have been or could never be. It can also represent an unfulfilled desire, such as love which will not go away no matter how much time passes. (such is the case with many types).
This form has two refrains repeated at different points throughout each stanza; one refrain usually occurs after every three lines while another only once per verse but before its last line, so they both end on identical words.
The following are examples: “The Waste Land”, written in 1922-1925) was T S Eliot’s elegy about World War I casualties. Another example would include John Keats’ 1818 work entitled ‘To Autumn.’.
Ekphrastic poetry is a style of poetry that involves a description of a work or scene in art. Ekphrastic poetry can be an analytical tool for understanding how different artists have interpreted particular artworks through their creative lens.
Ekphrastic Poetry involves describing artwork with words that may not necessarily rhyme but still make sense together; this style has been around since ancient times when people wrote poems praising gods like Zeus.
An Epigram is a short, witty poem that can be a single sentence. It often makes observations about life or death, and it may also have a satirical tone in nature.
Blank verse is a form of poetry that is written in unrhymed iambic pentameter.
The first two lines are the same, and then there’s an extra syllable on every line until we reach our final couplet where it just goes back to being regular again (inverted). This type can be found all over Europe where it’s still popular today
Acrostic poetry is a form of poetry where the first letter in each line spells out another word or phrase. The spelt words are often significant to the writer, like “love” or “mother.”
Acrostics spell out names or phrases that mean something special for someone reading it, like their child in school (Mother). It may not seem poetic, but these poems do rhyme, making them sound better than just saying words one after another without any connection.
Pastoral poetry is a form of poetry that describes the countryside or rural life. It’s a type where you can find lots and a lot about nature, animals like cows in fields etcetera.
All pastoral poetry draws on the tradition of the ancient Greek poet Theocritus, who wrote about shepherds, goatherders and cow herding. Theocritus was an ancient Greek poet from Sicily whose influence remains strong today through later poets such as Virgil (70 BC), Horace(65BC), Ovid (~17 AD).
Praise poetry is a style of poetry that praises someone or something. This type of poetry is often used in religious ceremonies and celebrations to praise God, Jesus Christ but is also prevalent in African tradition and culture. It may have originated on the African continent but that’s an article for another day.
It’s a form where you can find lots about praising somebody like the king or chief, for example, because he has done so many good things during his reign, which are essential not only from an economic point but also socially speaking.
African households use praise poetry to pass down generational information. It is also used to glorify royalty, breadwinners, warriors and champions.
Free verse is a form of poetry that is not metered or rhymed. It’s also known as “free verse”, and it doesn’t have to follow any specific rules, such as the use of punctuation marks.
We can call it an open-ended style because there are no set guidelines for how long lines should last relative to one another, nor do they need to end on rhymes like traditional poems would require you to. Free verse poetry has been around for a long time but gained prominence in the 20th century.
The Pantoum can be written with or without rhyme schemes. They are usually short poems because their purpose is not just entertainment like traditional forms would have you believe either- instead, many poets write them out of necessity when there’s something important on their minds, such an experience from wartime periods where words were limited so often due to unavailability of free speech at these times too.
In a Ghazal, the first line repeats at intervals throughout the poem. Ghazals are usually about love, or sometimes other topics too. They are not always easy to tell because there isn’t an obvious pattern like you might find elsewhere, such as sonnets, for example, which have set rhyme schemes.
A Ghazel has no fixed length either; instead, poets often write them until their thoughts run out on this topic before moving onto something else entirely new again.
The Sestina was introduced by troubadours who would sing these poems to their ladies in medieval Europe’s courts, and it is still a popular form today. The Sestina has six stanzas, with each one containing three lines that repeat throughout:
The first line appears as part of every other verse; then there’s another set that repeats after two verses have passed (the second being inverted); followed by a third group to be found at intervals until we reach our final couplet.
This type was initially used for love poems but can also cover any topic you want! They’re often written about people or places too- so they might not always sound like traditional poetry because sometimes poets will use different forms suchlike Freeverse where things don’t rhyme either – this means anyone could write a Sestina.
The form is often used in the modern-day too- for example, this poem by Sylvia Plath: “Lady Lazarus” – which contemplates her death and rebirth like a phoenix… It’s also an excellent way to show how she felt after being reborn!
The first two stanzas repeat throughout the entire poem. Each verse contains three lines that rhyme until we reach our final couplet; then, there isn’t any more repetition but instead just one line of free verse poetry at intervals before finishing off on another set from earlier (inverted).
This type can be found throughout Europe and is still popular today
In closing, I hope you found this article helpful and that it’s given a little more insight into the different types of poetry. I recommend reading some examples or even writing your very own! Check out these poetry prompts and some poetry devices here to give your poetry a little flavour.
About The Author
Webster is the founder and managing director at Pick Me Up Poetry. His creative journey began at an early age as an aspiring musician, and by 2013, he was the arts & culture facilitator for the University of Johannesburg. He is currently pursuing a Business Management degree with The University of South Africa and aspires to make PMUP a household name by 2025.