Types of Poetry
A lot of my poetry will have something next to it like "Trois-par-Huit" or "Sedoka" on the side. What do those mean? Well, those are special kinds of poetry forms, that's what! For a better guide, here's a quick explanation to these poetry forms.
Cinquain- five lines poetry with syllables going as so: 2, 4, 6, 8, 2.
Tetractys- five line poem with the syllables going 1, 2, 3, 4, 10. They can also go backwards: 10,4,3,2,1.
Sedoka-six line poem, two stanzas each. The syllables for each stanza are so: 5,7,7. One stanza is usually in one point of view and the other is in another.
Tyburn- six line poem. The first four lines are 2 syllables and rhyme. The last two lines are 9 syllables, have a different rhyme scheme than the first four but incorporate the first four lines in these last two lines as the 5th through 8th syllable.
Villanelle- six stanza poem, three lines per stanza except last stanza with is four lines. Rhyme scheme goes aba aba aba aba aba abaa. 1st and 3rd line are repeated constantly at the end of the remaining four three line stanzas and they make up the last two lines of the poem.
Trois-par-Huit- Also known as Octi-Tri. Eight lines total broken up in either 3,2,3 stanza form or 3,3,2 stanza form. Rhyme scheme is so: aabbbccc. Your last line of the poem is also your poem's title. Syllables are as so: 3, 6, 9, 12, 12, 9, 6, 3.
Haiku- probably the one everyone recognizes. A short Japanese style poem in just three lines, 17 syllables. Contrary to popular belief, Haiku does not have to be in 5-7-5 syllable format. You have more of less syllables in the lines themselves as long as the total is 17 or less. Usually about nature and always written in lowercase letters.
5 x 5- developed recently, it's pretty much what the name says: five lines with five syllables per line.
Tanka-syllable scheme 5-7-5-7-7. Very much like a haiku except it's a little longer.
Lanturne- Japanese kind of poem, shaped like a lanturn (hence the name). Syllables go as such: 1, 2, 3, 4 ,1.
Pyramid Clarity- poem shaped like a pyramid. Syllables go as such: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8. First line is in all caps and is your title. The last line gives a definition of what the first line means.
Triolet- poem consisting of only 8 lines. The 1st, 4th, and 7th lines repeat, and the 2nd and 8th lines do as well. The rhyme scheme is simple: ABaAabAB, capital letters representing the repeated lines.
Naani- Telegu type of poetry, means one and all. 4 lines, the total lines consists of 20 to 25 syllables. The poem is not bounded to a particular subject. Generally it depends upon human relations and current statements.
Rictameter-similar to Cinquain. First line starts with a two syllable word. You then consecutively increase the number of syllables per line by two. i.e. 2,4,6,8,10 Then down again: 8,6,4,2. The final line is the same two syllable word you began with.
Retrac- this is a poem form I came up with. Yes, it is my name spelled backwards. It's a 12 line poem with syllables going as such: 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 10, 8, 6, 4, 3, 2. Rhyme scheme is AABBCCCCBBAA. First and last line are the same. Similar to Rictameter except it rhymes and has a few more lines.
Acrostic- another one you probably have seen but don't know the name of. An acrostic is a poem with the first letter of each verse spelling out another word of phrase. For example, a poem titled 'Flower' describes a flower while spelling out the word 'flower' with each line. 1st line begins with F, second line begins with L, etc.
Rondelet is a French form consisting of a single septet with two rhymes and one refrain: AbAabbA. The capital letters are the refrains. The refrain is written in tetra-syllabic or dimeter and the other lines are twice as long - octasyllabic or tetrameter.
Ottava Rima- 8 lines long, 10 or 11 syllables in each line. Can be at least one verse. Rhyme scheme for one verse: abababcc
Septolet-a poem consisting of seven lines containing fourteen words with a break in between the two parts. Both parts deal with the same thought and create a picture.
Englyn Penfyr-composed of 3 lines; the first 10 syllables, the next two of seven syllables. The rhyme scheme is AAA, but the first occurence of the dominant rhyme in line one is followed by two or three syllables which are echoed in the first three syllables of line 2.
Clerihew- 4 line poem with aabb rhyme scheme. Usually about someone, mentions them in the first line and what they do.
Terza Rima-a poem with an eleven syllable count in each line and a rhyming scheme of aba, bcb, cdc, dd. There's also a Terza Rima Sonnet, which has an eleven syllable count and a rhyme scheme of aba bcb cdc ded ee.
Ode-a poem praising and glorifying a person, place or thing.
Nonet-nine lines. The first line has nine syllables, the second line eight syllables, the third line seven syllables, etc...until you reach the ninth line, which has one syllable. Rhyming is optional.
Than-Bauk- a witty saying or epigram. It is formed in a three line "climbing rhyme". Each line has four syllables. The rhyme is on the fourth syllable of the first line, the third syllable of the second line, and the second syllable of the third line.
Kyrielle- a French form of rhyming poetry written in quatrains (a stanza consisting of 4 lines), and each quatrain contains a repeating line or phrase as a refrain (usually appearing as the last line of each stanza). Each line within the poem consists of only eight syllables. There is no limit to the amount of stanzas a Kyrielle may have, but three is considered the accepted minimum. Popular rhyme forms for this are aabB ccbB ddcB or abaB cbcB dbdB. B is the repeated line.
Rondel- a French form consisting of 13 lines: two quatrains and a quintet, rhyming as follows: ABba abAB abbaA. The capital letters are the refrains, or repeats.
Pathya Vat- a Middle Eastern form. 4 lines with 4 syllables per each line. 2nd and 3rd line rhyme. You can make it as long as you want with the last line of each stanza becoming the next rhyme scheme. I.E. ABBC DCCE FEEG etc. In addition, these types of poems are usually read out loud and aren't too obscure.
Villonet-a hybrid of the Villanelle and the Sonnet. It has the Iambic Pentameter of both, but holds the four-stanza/line structure of the sonnet, while utilizing the two-line rhyme nature of the villanelle. The final stanza replaces the sonnet couplet with a typical villanelle tercet.
(English/Shakespearean)Sonnet-14 lines long, iambic pentameter. A Shakespearean (English) sonnet has three quatrains and a couplet, and rhymes abab cdcd efef gg.
Paradelle-a difficult French form of poetry made of four stanzas. The first two lines repeat twice. The fifth and sixth lines must have all the words from the previous four lines. This is what happens with the first three stanzas. This last stanza, made of six lines, must contain all the words from the first three stanzas and must be used to make new lines. So the design is this: 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 8, 9, 9, 10, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18.
Pantoum-poetic form with ABAB rhyme scheme where the second and fourth line become the first and third line of the next stanza. So it goes ABAB BCBC CDCD etc. until you reach ZAZA. In the end though, your first and third line switch places in the last stanza.
Ya Du-very similar to Than Bauk and haiku. 5 lines per stanzas,(there should not be more than three stanzas total). The first four have 4 syllables each, and the last can have 5, 7, 9 or 11. The last two lines rhyme in the conventional way. There is climbing rhyme in syllables 4, 3 and 2 of both the first 3 lines, and the last 3 lines. Like a haiku, it has to pertain to nature.