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Forms and Types of . SLC Ms. Mandel & Ms. McG. Why are the forms interlocked?. Narrative Poetry (tells a story). Ballads Songlike, often deal with adventure & romance 4- to 6-line stanzas Contain refrains Epics Long poems about the deeds of gods or heroes.

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forms and types of

Forms and Types of


Ms. Mandel & Ms. McG

narrative poetry tells a story
Narrative Poetry (tells a story)
  • Ballads
    • Songlike, often deal with adventure & romance
    • 4- to 6-line stanzas
    • Contain refrains
  • Epics
    • Long poems about the deeds of gods or heroes.
      • Example: Homer’s Odyssey
Lyric Poetry(short, highly musical verse that expresses thoughts, observations, & feelings of a single speaker)
  • Aphorisms embody general truths or astute observations.
    • Example: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” (Lord Acton).
  • Epigrams are short, witty poems dealing with a single subject or observation.
    • Example: “What is an epigram? A dwarfish whole, its body brevity, and wit its soul” (Samuel Coleridge).

Limericks consist of 5 lines, in which the 1st , 2nd , and 5th lines rhyme with each other, and the 3rd and 4th lines, which are shorter, form a rhymed couplet.

      • Example: (by Edward Lear)

There was an Old Man with a beard,

Who said, ‘It is just as I feared!

Two Owls and a Hen,

Four Larks and a Wren,

Have all built their nests in my beard!’

  • Elegies are mournful, melancholy or plaintive poems.
    • Examples: Funeral songs

Odes are longer poems of a serious nature, and elaborate meter & usually honor a person or subject

--Example: “Ode to a Grecian Urn” by John Keats

  • Sonnets are single stanza, 14-line poems with a specific rhythm and meter.
  • Petrarchan/Italian Sonnets consist of an octave which rhymesabbaabba and a sestet which rhymes cdecde.
    • The octave states a theme or asks a question. The sestet comments on or answers the question.
  • Shakespearean/English Sonnets consist of 3 quatrains and a couplet which follows abab cdcd efef gg rhyme scheme.
    • The couplet usually comments on the ideas contained in the preceding 12 lines.
dramatic poetry uses techniques of drama and often includes dialogue
Dramatic Poetry (uses techniques of drama and often includes dialogue)
  • Dramatic Dialogues are poems which entail conversations between 2 or more characters.
    • Example: Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”
  • Prologues are introductory poems or parts of a longer work. In traditional Greek dramas prologues were sung by a chorus.
    • Example: Shakespeare’s Prologue in Romeo and Juliet
  • Dramatic Monologues are poems in which a character addresses a silent listener.
    • Example: Langston Hughes’ “Mother to Son”
other poetic forms
Other Poetic Forms…
  • Haiku is a 3-line poem about nature, 5-7-5 syllables.
  • Villanelle is a 19-line lyric poem in 5, 3-line stanzas & 1, 4-line stanza.
  • Sestina has 6, 6-line stanzas & a 3-line conclusion.
  • Found Poetry takes lines, phrases, & words from other sources & reframing it as a poem by reordering the lines & making changes to spacing.
  • Prose Poetry departs from the practices of normal prose to heighten imagery or for an emotional effect.