Types Of Poetry
Types Of Poetry
Michael Rosen (Poet and Children's Laureate) gives expert video advice on: What are the most common poetry forms?; Do different forms of poetry fulfill different purposes?; What is the hardest form of poetry to write, and why? and more...
What are the most common poetry forms?
The form we're most familiar with now in English language is what is broadly called the lyric. It's a short poem that expresses a feeling. It might be a scene, it might be a moment, a memory, an observation. That's the form that is most used now. But of course there are many others you know, such as the epic, the long narrative poem, and the interior monologue.
What is the hardest form of poetry to write, and why?
I think if you really just setting out, then some forms are pretty forbidding, there are some verse structures that are quite rigid rhyming schemes, and so on. But you might find it pretty hard to say something original using those rhyme schemes, and it's probably pretty difficult to set out and write out a long, weighty, narrative poem of some sort or another, the way that some say the romantic poets did. That would be pretty hard to do, I'd say.
What is 'free verse'?
The negative to describe free verse is to say that it is a way of writing poems that don't have a clearly defined, regular rhythm, and don't have a clearly defined rhyme. So what they have instead are lines of writing, and those lines are determined by how you want to determine how the person will read it. They determine the rhythm and breathing pattern of how you read. So you have a long line that you say with one breath and then short lines that break up the speech. Overall, that is free verse.
What is a 'lyric poem'?
A lyric poem is really a poem that's about a page long or a bit less, and is about feeling or observation or a scene that you care about.
What is a 'ballad'?
A ballad is a narrative poem, usually what you call quatrains, which are four line rhyming verses that don't characterize. It's powerful on narrative, powerful on drama, and doesn't bother to tell you much about the people.
What is a 'haiku'?
A haiku is a form developed primarily in Japan. It's a syllabic poem. It has five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second, and five in the third. Usually it's a simple observation of a moment, and the contemplation of that moment.
What is a 'sonnet'?
A sonnet is primarily a fourteen line poem, and then, within in that there are several forms. So you can have a sonnet that ends on a powerful couplet, that sums up the rest of the poem. Another kind of sonnet divides between eight lines and six lines and the first eight lines are the contemplation and the last six lines are the ironic reflection, and they're very solid sonnet forms, but essentially it is a fourteen line poem.