4 Most Popular Types of Poems

Poetry can be quite intimidating. When you read some of the classic poems, you’ll find them a bit difficult to read. If you’re planning to write a poem, you may even find it scary. At times, you might’ve been told that you’ve misunderstood the poems you were taught in your English class. If you’ve attempted to write a poem, you might’ve been told that it was full of cliches. 

Of course, you’ll be heartbroken upon hearing this as you might’ve poured out your heart into the poem. The world of poetry is varied and vast. Certainly, there are poems you’d love to read and the ones you’d enjoy writing. You might just need a quick introduction to several poetic forms to be on track. So, here are the most popular types of poems:

1. Sonnet

When you begin thinking about the poetic forms, the sonnet might be the first to surface in your mind. This is an old form, which originated during the 13th century in Italy. There are two common forms of a sonnet, namely the Petrarchan or Italian and the Shakespearean or Elizabethan. Both of them have several rules. Traditionally, there are 14 lines in sonnets and are often about different kinds of love. 

Lost love, married love, forgotten love, longing for love are some of the examples. Petrarchan sonnets have a rhyme scheme of ABBA ABBA CDE CDE. The Shakespearean sonnets are usually written in the ABAB CDCD EFEF GG rhyme scheme.

2. Haiku

This is a Japanese form, which originated in the 17th century in the writings of Matsuo Basho. The Haiku are very short poems. Owing to their short length, they are perfect for writing exercises and school assignments. A Haiku typically has 17 syllables that are arranged in three lines. 

The first line has five syllables, the next has 7, and the third has 5. Such poems are commonly about nature and include a seasonal reference, usually containing two juxtaposed ideas or images.

3. Ballad

Ballad is for those who wish to tell a story or read one in the form of a poem. It is a traditional and old form, which were earlier passed down orally from one generation to the next. If you are someone who wants to take this form quite seriously, there are certain rules to be followed. 

Ballads are written in quatrains or groups of four lines. The rhyme scheme to follow is ABAB or ABCB. The lines usually alternate between having six syllables and eight. However, the ballad is a form that’s loose enough to make it into whatever you want.

4. Free Verse

This form of poetry gives you complete freedom to do whatever you want! There are absolutely no rules in free verse. You’re not required to follow the regular patterns of rhythm or rhyme. There’s no need for lines of a particular length or stanzas of a certain number. 

Free verse can be liberating and terrifying at the same time. Of course, you can do whatever you wish to, but you may keep thinking about where to begin. Nevertheless, you can still go ahead and try it, enjoying all the freedom that it offers.

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