Kinds of Poems
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The following is a list of poetry types and styles that we have learned about, used and discovered through many different sources. Each different type will share an example.
ACROSTIC POEM: A poem in which the first letters of each line form a word or message relating to the subject.
BALLAD: A narrative poem which is, or originally was, meant to be sung. Ballads are the narrative species of folk songs, which originate, and are communicated orally. The narrator begins with the climactic episode, tells the story by means of action and dialogue, and tells it without self-reference or the expression of personal attitudes or feelings.
CINQUAIN: A poetic form invented by Adelaid Crapsey, an American poet.
The five lines of the poem contain, in order, two, four, six, eight, and two syllables.
CHORUS: Among the ancient Greeks the chorus was a group of people,
wearing masks, who sang or chanted verse while performing dancelike maneuvers at religious
festivals. Choruses also served as commentators on the characters and events who expressed
traditional moral, religious and social attitudes. During the Elizabethan Age the term
"chorus" was applied to a single person who spoke the prologue and epilogue to a
play and sometimes introduced each at as well.
COUPLET: Two successive lines of poetry with end-words that rhyme.
HAIKU: A Japanese form of poetry, which gives a brief description of nature. Haiku consists of three unrhymed lines of five, seven and five syllables.
NURSERY RHYME: A short poem for children written in rhyming verse and handed down in folklore.