Click on the terms to see examples of the different types of poems.
At the end of the page, you will find a quiz to test your knowledge.
* Ballad is a relatively short narrative poem with a simple dramatic action. Ballads tell of love, death, the supernatural or a combination of these.Two characteristics of a ballad are incremental repetition and the ballad stanza.
* Blank Verse is a type of poetry, distinguished by having a regular meter, but no rhyme. In English, the meter most commonly used with blank verse has been iambic pentameter.
* Carpe Diem translated means "Seize the Day." Carpe Diem poetry encourages readers to make the most of the immediate, to enjoy life.
* Concrete Poetry is poetry in which the shape or pattern is essential to the conveying the intended effect or meaning.
* Didactic poems which are usually written to teach or to state an informative lesson. These poems can be somewhat moralistic.
* Elegy is a poem of mourning, from the Greek elegos, a reflection on the death of someone or on a sorrow generally - which is a form of lyric poetry.
* Epic is a long narrative poem recounting the deeds of heroic figures.
* Epigram is a short, witty poem or statement
* Epitaph is a short text honoring a deceased person, strictly speaking that inscribed on their tombstone or plaque, but also used figuratively.
* Extended Metaphor is a poem in which the metaphor continues throughout the poem.
* Found Poetry is the rearrangement of words, phrases , and sometimes whole passages that are taken from other sources and reframed as poetry by changes in spacing and/or lines (and consequently meaning), or by altering the text by additions and/or deletions.
* Free Verse is a term describing various styles of that are written without using strict metre or rhyme, but that still are recognizable as poetry by virtue of complex patterns of one sort or another that readers will perceive to be part of a coherent whole.
* Lyric is a short poem with one speaker (not necessarily the poet) who expresses thought or feeling.
* Narrative is a form of poetry that tells a story.
* Ode is a longer lyric poem having a serious subject and dignified style, often addressed to some person.
* Pastoral is a brief poem that focuses on scenes from rural or pastoral life. It often contains descriptions of shepherds and idealized views of life.
* Sonnet is a lyric poem consisting of fourteen lines, a set rhyme and rhythm. In English, the two basic sonnets are the Italian or Shakespearean.
OTHER TYPES OF POEMS YOU HAVE PROBABLY STUDIED but not part of our curriculum.
- Cinquain - a five line poem with a set structure. These structures vary depending on the form of cinquain.
- Haiku - a form of Japanese poetry, usually three lines of five, seven and then five syllables.
- Limerick - an often witty or humourous five line poem that follows a strict structure.
- Acrostic - a poem in which the first letter of each line forms the subject or title.