15 Common Types Of Poems

Types Of Poems

Poetry has existed for thousands of years, but it still stays its significant roles of culture and art in this contemporary age. Poetry is a kind of literature. As with other ones, poetry is considered a means to convey artistic views, discuss their emotion, and earn imagination.

Composing superb poetry is very challenging, and sometimes attempting to understand it’s a tired action. There are lots of poetry types, and the majority of these don’t have easy rules. Thus, Penn Book has gathered for you 15 popular types of poems. Read this under article to understand more.

short poems

15 Different Types of Poems


A sonnet is a 14-line poem written in iambic pentameter, typically (although not exclusively) about the subject of love. Sonnets contain inner workings in their 14 lines; the specific rhyme scheme depends on the design of a sonnet. But always keep in mind that rules are designed to be broken! You’re advised to consider these tips simply suggestions if you prefer.

William Shakespeare, “Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds.” To get a super-traditional Shakespearean sonnet, we will visit the master!

Edna St. Vincent Millay, “What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why.” Millay contrasts with the rhyme scheme somewhat here, but this is a Fantastic example of a Petrarchan sonnet:

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,

I have forgotten, and what arms have lain

Under my head till morning; but the rain

Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh

Upon the glass and listen for reply,

And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain

For unremembered lads that not again

Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.

Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,

Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,

Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:

I cannot say what loves have come and gone,

I only know that summer sang in me

A little while, that in me sings no more.


A haiku is a three-line poetic form originating in Japan. The first line has five syllables, the second line has seven syllables, and the third lineup has five syllables.

Matsuo Bashō, “By the Old Temple”:

By the old temple,

peach blossoms;

a man treading rice.

Matsuo Bashō, “An Old Silent Pond”:

An old silent pond…

A frog jumps into the pond,

splash! Silence again.

Natsume Soseki, “The Lamp Once Out”:

The lamp once out

Cool stars enter

The window frame.


A nineteen-line poem consisting of five tercets and a quatrain, using an exceptionally given internal rhyme scheme. Initially a version of a rustic, the villanelle has evolved to describe obsessions and other extreme topic issues, according to Dylan Thomas, author of villanelles such as “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.”

Dylan Thomas, “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.” This is probably the most well-known villanelle. It follows the principles of this form perfectly.

Elizabeth Bishop, “One Art” This one doesn’t stick to the rules absolutely, though it’s fairly close. If it violates the rules, it does so with a goal. This is my favorite:

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;

so many things seem filled with the intent

to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster

of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:

places, and names, and where it was you meant

to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or

next-to-last, of three loved houses went.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,

some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.

I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture

I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident

the art of losing’s not too hard to master

though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.


Here is another ancient poetic form, in this case coming from 12th-century Provence. Such as the villanelle, it’s a great deal of repeat, but settings do not need to rhyme, unlike the villanelle. The set includes six stanzas of six lines each, along with a final stanza of three lines. The six words which finish the lines of this initial stanza get replicated in the line endings of all the rest of the stanzas, and six words appear in the poem’s final three lines. Here’s an excellent description of this order. Those six words must appear in.

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Elizabeth Bishop, “Sestina.”

Elizabeth Bishop, “Sestina.”

Alberto Alvaro Rios, “Nani“:

Sitting at her table, she serves

the sopa de arroz to me

instinctively, and I watch her,

the absolute mamá, and eat words

I might have had to say more

out of embarrassment. To speak,

now-foreign words I used to speak,

too, dribble down her mouth as she serves

me albóndigas. No more

than a third are easy to me.

By the stove she does something with words

and looks at me only with her

back. I am full. I tell her

I taste the mint, and watch her speak

smiles at the stove. All my words

make her smile. Nani never serves

herself, she only watches me

with her skin, her hair. I ask for more.

I watch the mamá warming more

tortillas for me. I watch her

fingers in the flame for me.

Near her mouth, I see a wrinkle speak

of a man whose body serves

the ants like she serves me, then more words

from more wrinkles about children, words

about this and that, flowing more

easily from these other mouths. Each serves

as a tremendous string around her,

holding her together. They speak

Nani was this and that to me

and I wonder just how much of me

will die with her, what were the words

I could have been, was. Her insides speak

through a hundred wrinkles, now, more

than she can bear, steel around her,

shouting, then, What is this thing she serves?

She asks me if I want more.

I own no words to stop her.

Even before I speak, she serves.


Like haiku, you are very likely to experience acrostic poems at college! But that does not mean they are boring in reality, far from it! This sort of poetry spells out a title, word, or message together with every letter of each line. It can not, and generally, the term spelled outlays the topic of the poem. Why don’t you try it using all the silliest words you can think about? It may be enjoyable!

Edgar Allan Poe, “An Acrostic.”

Sathya Narayana, “Nuggets“:

Nuggets of gold, money and authority

Ultimate luxury, status and handy men

Gathered he through all bloody means

Giving not a damn to humane feelings

Equipoise is but nature’s patent strategy

Tamed is he by crippling ailments

So sad! Spends life like a frozen vegetable!

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This poem does not have unique principles for kind: unlike the types above, you could write it however you’d like. Instead, it is a poem about a work of art: a painting, a statue, maybe a photograph. It is art about art, composed in reaction to visual artwork which inspires the poet.

Tyehimba Jess, “Hagar in the Wilderness.”

Rebecca Wolff, “Ekphrastic.”


Concrete poetry, or form poetry, or visual poetry, is intended to look a specific way on the webpage: it is composed to form a specific picture or contour that improves the poem’s significance. In its cheesy form, a definite poem may be a love poem composed in the form of a heart. However, here are a few better examples:

May Swenson, “Girls” This poem is about the girls who are anticipated to be “pedestals moving into the moves of guys,” and the poem itself illustrates that the rocking girls are supposed to perform in the will of all men.

George Herbert, “Altar.”


An elegy is a poem that reflects upon loss or death. Traditionally, it includes themes of melancholy, loss, and manifestation. Nevertheless, it may also explore topics of salvation and consolation.

Walt Whitman, “O Captain, My Captain.”

Mary Jo Bangs, “You Were You Are Elegy.”

Kwame Dawes, “Requiem.” The poem begins this way:

I sing requiem

for the dead, caught in that

mercantilistic madness.

We have not built lasting

monuments of severe stone

facing the sea, the watery tomb,

so I call these songs

shrines of remembrance

where faithful descendants

may stand and watch the smoke

curl into the sky

in memory of those

devoured by the cold Atlantic.

In every blues I hear

riding the dank swamp

I see the bones

picked clean in the belly

of the implacable sea.


Want to write something briefly? Try your hand with an epigram. All you need to do will be witty and brilliant in a couple of lines simple! Epigrams do not need to be poems, but they frequently are. They’re brief and witty, and often satirical, and also possess a sudden and humorous end.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Epigram“:

Sir, I admit your general rule,

That every poet is a fool,

But you yourself may serve to show it,

That every fool is not a poet.

Emily Dickinson, “‘Faith’ is a Fine Invention“:

“Faith” is a fine invention

For Gentlemen who see!

But Microscopes are prudent

In an Emergency!


On the topic of humorous poems, next is your limerick. You are probably knowledgeable about this limerick form, even if you don’t receive the specifics of it, because its sound is so distinctive: 2 longer lines, two brief ones, along with a final longer line which makes a joke, frequently ribald one. If you’d like the technical details, here you go: limericks have a rhyme scheme of AABBA and utilize the anapestic meter, with three toes at the more lines and 2 at the briefer.

Dixon Lanier Merritt:

A wonderful bird is the pelican,

His bill can hold more than his beli-can.

He can take in his beak

Food enough for a week

But I’m damned if I see how the heli-can.


There was a young girl from St. Paul,

Wore a newspaper-dress to a ball.

The dress caught on fire

And burned her entire

Front page, sporting section and all.


A ballad (or even ballade) is a kind of narrative verse that may be poetic or musical. It generally follows a pattern of rhymed quatrains. By John Keats to Samuel Taylor Coleridge into Bob Dylan, it signifies a melodic type of storytelling.

Anonymous, “Barbara Allen.” Here’s the first stanza:

In Scarlet town, where I was born,

There was a fair maid dwellin’,

Made every youth cry Well-a-way!

Her name was Barbara Allen.

Edgar Allan Poe, “Annabel Lee.”


The epitaph is similar to the elegy, just shorter. It is the type of poem which may seem on a gravestone, though it does not need to. It is short, and it pays tribute to someone that has passed away or commemorates any other reduction.

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Upon a Child That Died

Robert Herrick, “Upon a Child That Died“:

Here she lies, a pretty bud,

Lately made of flesh and blood,

Who as soon fell fast asleep

As her little eyes did peep.

Give her strewings, but not stir

The earth that lightly covers her.

Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Epitaph“:

Heap not on this mound

Roses that she loved so well:

Why bewilder her with roses,

That she cannot see or smell?

She is happy where she lies

With the dust upon her eyes.


The tanka (meaning”short poem”) is a Japanese type that’s five lines. The first and third lines have five syllables (from the English edition of this form) and the other lines of seven syllables each. The topic of the poem could be in character, as it’s for haiku, but that is not required.

Sadakichi Hartmann, “Tanka“:

Winter? Spring? Who knows?

White buds from the plumtrees wing

And mingle with the snows.

No blue skies these flowers bring,

Yet their fragrance augurs Spring.

Philip Appleman, “Three Haiku, Two Tanka.”


Similar to an elegy, an ode is a tribute to the topic, even though the topic shouldn’t be dead or even sentient, as in John Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn”.

Pablo Neruda, “Ode to a Large Tuna in the Market.” Here is how the poem begins:


among the market vegetables,

this torpedo

from the ocean


a missile

that swam,


lying in front of me


Phillis Wheatley, “Ode to Neptune.”


Free poetry is poetry that lacks a consistent rhyme scheme, metrical pattern, or musical form.

Nikki Giovanni, “Winter Poem”:

once a snowflake fell

on my brow and I loved

it so much and I kissed

it and it was happy and called its cousins

and brothers and a web

of snow engulfed me then

I reached to love them all

and I squeezed them and they became

a spring rain and I stood perfectly

still and was a flower

Langston Hughes, “Theme for English B.”

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