Posted in Poetry

Types of Poems

Here are a few types of poems I thought you might be interested in. There are more, but I went with some common types that people enjoy writing more often. They range in difficulty. For more information about each, you can go to

TypeDefinition# of Lines# Syllables
Per line
Rhyme Scheme
HaikuAn ancient form of
Japanese poetry.
Small in size
3 linesline one has 5
line two has 7
line three has 5
LimerickAre funny and
sometimes rude.
They have a set rhyme.
The subject is a short, pithy
tale or description
5 linesnoneAABBA
SonnetA poem expressing a single,
complete thought, idea
or sentiment. There are two types: Petrarchan and
14 lines10
(Iambic Pentameter)
Petrarchan Sonnet: ABBA, ABBA, CDECDE

Shakespearean Sonnet:
Free VerseA popular style of modern
poetry. It has a great amount of freedom when it comes to number of lines, cadence, and rhyme (if any)
VillanelleA short poem of fixed form, written in tercets, usually five in number followed by a quatrain.19 linesvariesABA for the first 5 tercets. Line 1 from the first tercet gets repeated in line 3 of tercets 2 and 4. Line 3 from tercet 1 gets repeated in line 3 of tercets 3 and 5. In the stanza 6 (the quatrain at the end), lines 3 and 4 are lines 1 and 3 from the first tercet in order).
Blank VersePoetry written with a precise meter, often in iambic pentameter but doesn’t rhyme.varies10 (Iambic pentameter)none
SestinaA poem of six six-line stanzas and a three-line envoy, originally without rhyme, in which each stanza repeats the end words of the lines of the first stanza, but in a different order, the envoy using the six words again, three in the middle of the lines and three at the end.39 linesIambic pentameter is optional. Otherwise there is none.Line 1: ABCDEF
Line 2: FAEBDC
Line 3: CFDABE
Line 4: ECBFAD
Line 5: DEACFB
Line 6: BDFECA
TankaA Japanese poem that means “short poem”5 lineslines 1 and 3 have 5 syllables. All other lines have 7 syllables.none