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Types of Poems

All types of poems, forms or formats, with definitions and examples. See the top 10 types of poems and learn about popular forms of poetry like acrostic, haiku, lyric, narrative, and rhyme and more. Learn rhyme schemes, structure, form, stanzas, style, rhythm, and meter, etc. for all forms of poetry.

See also: Top 20 Most Popular Types of Poetry Ranked | Poetry Terminology | Types of Narrative Poetry | How to Write a Poem - 10 Steps

Poetry Forms by Letter

Top 10 Types of Poems, Forms or Formats

(10) | Concrete - Poems | Definition

(9) | Diamante - Poems | Definition

(8) | Lyric - Poems | Definition

(7) | Cinquain - Poems | Definition

(6) | Free verse - Poems | Definition

(5) | Limerick - Poems | Definition

(4) | Elegy - Poems | Definition

(3) | Ode - Poems | Definition

(2) | Acrostic - Poems | Definition

(1) | Haiku - Poems | Definition

A Form of Literature

Poetry is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language to evoke emotion and convey meaning. It has been a part of human culture for centuries and has evolved into various types, forms, and formats. Let's explore the different styles and genres of poetry and how they are analyzed.

Types of Poetry

There are various types of poetry, each with its own unique characteristics and structures. Some common types include sonnets, haikus, ballads, free verse, and epic poetry. Sonnets often follow a specific rhyme scheme and have 14 lines, while haikus are much shorter and consist of three lines with a specific syllable pattern. Ballads are narrative poems that tell a story, free verse has no specific rhyme or meter, and epic poetry is typically long and reflects heroic themes. These are just a few examples of the diverse range of poetry types, each offering different ways to convey emotions and ideas.

Lyric Poetry

Lyric poetry is a type of poetry that expresses personal emotions or feelings. It is often short and musical in nature, with a focus on the speaker's thoughts and emotions. Examples of lyric poetry include sonnets, odes, and elegies.

Narrative Poetry

Narrative poetry tells a story through verse. It often follows a specific structure and includes elements such as plot, characters, and setting. Examples of narrative poetry include epics, ballads, and epistles.

Dramatic Poetry

Dramatic poetry is meant to be performed or spoken aloud. It often includes dialogue and is written in a dramatic or theatrical style. Examples of dramatic poetry include monologues, soliloquies, and verse dramas.

Forms of Poetry

Poetic form can be defined in many ways, but it is essentially a type of poem that is defined by physical structure, rhythm, and other elements. It has a specific style or set of rules that must be used when writing. Even the literal shape that a poem takes on paper can matter when it comes to the type of poem. The line length, number of syllables, and subject matter are all important parts of poetic form.


A sonnet is a 14-line poem that follows a specific rhyme scheme and structure. It originated in Italy and has been used by poets such as William Shakespeare and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. There are two main types of sonnets: the Italian (or Petrarchan) sonnet and the English (or Shakespearean) sonnet.


Haiku is a traditional Japanese form of poetry that consists of three lines with a total of 17 syllables. The first and third lines have five syllables each, while the second line has seven syllables. Haiku often focuses on nature and uses vivid imagery to convey a deeper meaning.

Free Verse

Free verse is a form of poetry that does not follow a specific structure or rhyme scheme. It allows poets to experiment with language and form, making it a popular choice for modern poets. Free verse can be written in any length and often uses unconventional punctuation and line breaks.

Formats of Poetry

There are various formats of poetry, including traditional forms such as concrete poetry and villanelles, as well as modern forms like slam poetry, found poetry, and spoken word poetry.

Slam poetry, found poetry, and spoken word poetry are all forms of expressive art that use language and performance to convey emotion and meaning. Slam poetry involves competitive performances in front of an audience, with a focus on powerful delivery and personal narratives. Found poetry takes existing texts and rearranges them into poetic form, often highlighting hidden meanings and creating new perspectives. Spoken word poetry is the art of performing poetry aloud, often utilizing rhythmic patterns and engaging storytelling techniques to captivate the audience.

These formats provide poets with a framework to craft their words and convey their messages in a specific and often rhythmic way, allowing for creativity within defined boundaries.

Slam Poetry

Slam poetry is a powerful form of spoken word that merges poetry with performance. Originating in the 1980s, it allows individuals to express their emotions, experiences, and opinions in a dynamic and engaging way, often addressing social issues or personal struggles. Slam poetry creates a powerful and inclusive space for self-expression and can have a profound impact on both the poet and the audience. It is a highly energetic and expressive style of performance poetry that is often performed competitively in poetry slams.

Concrete Poetry

Concrete poetry, also known as shape poetry, is a type of poetry that uses the physical arrangement of words on the page to convey meaning. The words are arranged in a way that creates a visual representation of the subject or theme of the poem. This form of poetry is often seen as a combination of visual art and literature.

Spoken Word Poetry

Spoken word poetry is meant to be performed or spoken aloud. It often incorporates elements of rap, hip hop, and storytelling. Spoken word poetry is known for its powerful delivery and can cover a wide range of topics, from personal experiences to social and political issues.

Found Poetry

Found poetry is created by taking existing texts, such as newspaper articles or advertisements, and rearranging them to create a new poem. This form of poetry allows for a unique interpretation of the original text and can be a commentary on society or a personal reflection.

Genre Analysis of Poetry

Genre analysis is the study of different types of literature and how they are categorized. In poetry, there are several genres that can be used to classify different styles and forms.

Epic Poetry

Epic poetry is a genre that focuses on heroic deeds and larger-than-life characters. It often tells a story of a hero's journey and is written in a grand, elevated style. Examples of epic poetry include Homer's "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey."

Romantic Poetry

Romantic poetry is a genre that emerged in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It is characterized by a focus on emotion, nature, and individualism. Romantic poets often used vivid imagery and symbolism to convey their feelings and experiences. Some famous romantic poets include William Wordsworth, John Keats, and Lord Byron.

Confessional Poetry

Confessional poetry is a genre that emerged in the mid-20th century and is known for its personal and often autobiographical subject matter. It often deals with themes of love, loss, and mental health. Some notable confessional poets include Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, and Robert Lowell.


Poetry is a diverse and ever-evolving form of literature. From traditional forms like sonnets and haikus to modern styles like spoken word and found poetry, there is a type of poetry for every taste. By understanding the different types, forms, and genres of poetry, we can gain a deeper appreciation for this art form and its impact on our culture.