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Poetry Forms Beginning with 'P'

Poetry forms or types of poems beginning with the letter 'p'. This is a comprehensive resource of all types of poems beginning with the letter 'p'. We include examples of popular forms of poetry.

Poetry Forms by Letter


Pantoum

Definition

A rare form of poetry similar to a villanelle. It is composed of a series of four-line stanzas; the second and fourth lines of the first stanza are the first and third lines of the next. This pattern continues for any number of stanzas, except for the final stanza, which differs in the repeating pattern. The first and third lines of the last stanza are the second and fourth of the penultimate (next to last stanza); the first line of the poem is the last line of the final stanza, and the third line of the first stanza is the second of the final. Ideally, the meaning of lines shifts when they are repeated although the words remain exactly the same: this can be done by shifting punctuation, punning, or simply recontextualizing. 

Typically a pantoum is made up of two rhyming couplets, however, Western writers altered and adapted the form, the importance of rhyming and brevity diminished. So, pantoums do not need to rhyme.

Example

In the example, the letters A, B, C etc refer to whole repeated lines, not just rhyming lines.
 

a First Line
b Second Line
c Third Line
d Fourth Line


b Second Line
e Fifth Line
d Fourth Line
f Sixth Line


e Fifth Line
c Third Line
f Sixth Line
a First Line

As she dances on the moonlit glen
Taking in the freshness of the air
She is alone, but not lonely
She is surrounded by spirits


Taking in the freshness of the air
Searching again for her silent companions
She is surrounded by spirits
They watch the contentment she holds


Searching again for her silent companions
She is alone, but not lonely
They watch the contentment she holds
As she dances on the moonlit glen



Parallelismus Membrorum

Definition

Parallelismus Membrorum is of traditional Hebrew origin. It has lines of parallel construction and presents antitheses and complementary extensions. The lines are usually short and contain three or four words.

Pastoral

Definition

A poem that depicts rural life in a peaceful, romanticized way.

Example

Sir Philip Sidney

FROM: The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia, 1593

[O sweet woods]

O sweet woods, the delight of solitariness!
Oh, how much I do like your solitariness!
Where man's mind hath a freed consideration,
Of goodness to receive lovely direction.
Where senses do behold th' order of heav'nly host,
And wise thoughts do behold what the creator is;
Contemplation here holdeth his only seat,
Bounded with no limits, born with a wing of hope,
Climbs even unto the stars, nature is under it.
Nought disturbs thy quiet, all to thy service yields,
Each sight draws on a thought (thought, mother of science)
Sweet birds kindly do grant harmony unto thee,
Fair trees' shade is enough fortification,
Nor danger to thyself if 't be not in thyself.

O sweet woods, the delight of solitariness!
Oh, how much I do like your solitariness!
Here nor treason is hid, veilëd in innocence,
Nor envy's snaky eye finds any harbor here,
Nor flatterers' venomous insinuations,
Nor coming humorists' puddled opinions,
Nor courteous ruin of proffered usury,
Nor time prattled away, cradle of ignorance,
Nor causeless duty, nor cumber of arrogance,
Nor trifling title of vanity dazzleth us,
Nor golden manacles stand for a paradise,
Here wrong's name is unheard, slander a monster is;
Keep thy sprite from abuse, here no abuse doth haunt.
What man grafts in a tree dissimulation?

O sweet woods, the delight of solitariness!
Oh, how well I do like your solitariness!
Yet, dear soil, if a soul closed in a mansion
As sweet as violets, fair as lily is,
Straight as cedar, a voice stains the canary birds,
Whose shade safety doth hold, danger avoideth her;
Such wisdom that in her lives speculation;
Such goodness that in her simplicity triumphs;
Where envy's snaky eye winketh or else dieth;
Slander wants a pretext, flattery gone beyond;
Oh! if such a one have bent to a lonely life,
Her steps glad we receive, glad we receive her eyes,
And think not she doth hurt our solitariness,
For such company decks such solitariness.

Personification

Definition

A form of poetry in which human characteristics are attributed to nonhuman things. Personification offers the poet a way to give the world life and motion by assigning familiar human behaviors and emotions to animals, inanimate objects, and abstract ideas.

Example

Fog
Carl Sandburg (1878–1967).

THE FOG comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches 5
and then moves on.


Political Verse

Definition

Political verse is also known as Decapentasyllabic verse. This is a Byzantine form of poetry with 15 syllable lines which has a long oral tradition and is historically associated with folk songs.

Example

SONG OF A FELLOW-WORKER

by Arthur O'Shaughnessy

I found a fellow-worker when I deemed I toiled alone:
My toil was fashioning thought and sound, and his was hewing stone;
I worked in the palace of my brain, he in the common street,
And it seemed his toil was great and hard, while mine was great and sweet.

I said, O fellow-worker, yea, for I am a worker too.
The heart nigh fails me many a day, but how is it with you?
For while I toil great tears of joy will sometimes fill my eyes.
And when I form my perfect work it lives and never dies.

I carve the marble of pure thought until the thought takes form,
Until it gleams before my soul and makes the world grow warm;
Until there comes the glorious voice and words that seem divine,
And the music reaches all men's hearts and draws them into mine.

And yet for days it seems my heart shall blossom never more,
And the burden of my loneliness lies on me very sore:
Therefore, O hewer of the stones that pave base human ways.
How canst thou bear the years till death, made of such thankless days?

Then he replied: Ere sunrise, when the pale lips of the day
Sent forth an earnest thrill of breath at warmth of the first ray,
A great thought rose within me, how, while men asleep had lain.
The thousand labours of the world had grown up once again.

The sun grew on the world, and on my soul the thought grew too —
A great appalling sun, to light my soul the long day through.
I felt the world's whole burden for a moment, then began
With man's gigantic strength to do the labour of one man.

I went forth hastily, and lo! I met a hundred men.
The worker with the chisel and the worker with the pen, —
The restless toilers after good, who sow and never reap.
And one who maketh music for their souls that may not sleep.

Each passed me with a dauntless look, and my undaunted eyes
Were almost softened as they passed with tears that strove to rise
At sight of all those labours, and because that every one,
Ay, the greatest, would be greater if my little were undone.

They passed me, having faith in me, and in our several ways.
Together we began to-day as on the other days:
I felt their mighty hands at work, and, as the day wore through.
Perhaps they felt that even I was helping somewhat too:

Perhaps they felt, as with those hands they lifted mightily
The burden once more laid upon the world so heavily.
That while they nobly held it as each man can do and bear.
It did not wholly fall my side as though no man were there.

And so we toil together many a day from morn till night,
I in the lower depths of life, they on the lovely height;
For though the common stones are mine, and they have lofty cares,
Their work begins where this leaves off, and mine is part of theirs.

And 'tis not wholly mine or theirs I think of through the day,
But the great eternal thing we make together, I and they;
Far in the sunset I behold a city that man owns,
Made fair with all their nobler toil, built of my common stones.

Then noonward, as the task grows light with all the labour done.
The single thought of all the day becomes a joyous one;
For, rising in my heart at last where it has lain so long,
It thrills up seeking for a voice, and grows almost a song.

But when the evening comes, indeed, the words have taken wing.
The thought sings in me still, but I am all too tired to sing;
Therefore, O you my friend, who serve the world with minstrelsy,
Among our fellow-workers' songs make that one song for me.


Prose

Definition

Prose is writing distinguished from poetry by its greater variety of rhythm and its closer resemblance to the patterns of everyday speech. The word prose comes from the Latin prosa, meaning straightforward. This describes the type of writing that prose embodies, unadorned with obvious stylistic devices. Prose writing is usually adopted for the description of facts or the discussion of ideas. Thus, it may be used for newspapers, magazines, novels, encyclopedias, screenplays, films, philosophy, letters, essays, history, biography and many other forms of media.

Example

A Port is a delightful place of rest for a soul weary of life's battles. The vastness of the sky, the mobile architecture of the clouds, the changing coloration of the sea, the twinkling of the lights, are a prism marvellously fit to amuse the eyes without ever tiring them. The slender shapes of the ships with their complicated rigging, to which the surge lends harmonious oscillations, serve to sustain within the soul the taste for rhythm and beauty. Also, and above all, for the man who of mysterious and aristocratic pleasure in contemplating, while lying on the belvedere or resting his elbows on the jetty-head, all these movements of men who are leaving and men who are returning, of those who still have the strength to will, the desire to travel or to enrich themselves.

--Charles Baudelaire--

Prose Poetry

Definition

Prose is writing distinguished from poetry by its greater variety of rhythm and its closer resemblance to the patterns of everyday speech. The word prose comes from the Latin prosa, meaning straightforward. This describes the type of writing that prose embodies, unadorned with obvious stylistic devices. Prose writing is usually adopted for the description of facts or the discussion of ideas. Thus, it may be used for newspapers, magazines, novels, encyclopedias, screenplays, films, philosophy, letters, essays, history, biography and many other forms of media.

Prose poetry is usually considered a form of poetry written in prose that breaks some of the normal rules associated with prose discourse, for heightened imagery or emotional effect, among other purposes. Arguments continue about whether prose poetry is actually a form of poetry or a form of prose (or a separate genre altogether). Like poetry (intense, sculpted) but without line breaks.

Example

The Port
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A Port is a delightful place of rest for a soul weary of life's battles. The vastness of the sky, the mobile architecture of the clouds, the changing coloration of the sea, the twinkling of the lights, are a prism marvellously fit to amuse the eyes without ever tiring them. The slender shapes of the ships with their complicated rigging, to which the surge lends harmonious oscillations, serve to sustain within the soul the taste for rhythm and beauty. Also, and above all, for the man who of mysterious and aristocratic pleasure in contemplating, while lying on the belvedere or resting his elbows on the jetty-head, all these movements of men who are leaving and men who are returning, of those who still have the strength to will, the desire to travel or to enrich themselves.

--Charles Baudelaire--