Terms Related to Types of Poetry


a type of poem where a pattern of symbols is used to tell a story within a story


a lyric poem about morning or the rising sun


a narrative poem telling a story a person or event often about love usually told in rhymed stanzas and which includes a repeated refrain.  Ballads are often sung.

Ballad stanza –

a stanza of four lines (quatrain) with the second and fourth lines rhyming

Concrete poem –

a poem whose words or letters are laid out on the page to reflect the theme of the poem.


a form of poem that reveals highly personal experiences

Dramatic monologue –

a lyric poem where the speaker expresses strong emotions or ideas to silent listeners.


a lyric poem which mourns the death of a particular person


a narrative poem which tells a story of a great adventure or battle and which involves humans of exceptional stature such as kings who often have superior strength or skills or includes gods. The results of the adventure, battle or war has drastic consequences beyond the fate of the participants often for an entire country or kingdom.


a short clever poem making a pointed, sometimes paradoxical, observation


a form of Japanese verse with three lines which are not rhymed and which have five, seven, and five syllables usually involving some aspect of nature.

Hip-hop –

musical verse which uses rhyme, repetition of sounds and phases


a form of poetry which expresses feelings or observations


a lyric poem which starts by observing a specific object and then drawing some philosophical inferences


a form of poetry which tells a story

Occasional poem 

lyric poetry written about an occasion


a lyric poem explicating the attributes or aspects of nature or a specific object or living creature such as “Ode to a Nightingale.” Uses complex stanza patterns.


a lyric poem which observes the simple pleasures of rural life

Petrarchan sonnet –

a lyric poem about unattainable love

Prose poem 

is poetry written in prose instead of using verse but preserving poetic qualities such as heightened imagery and emotional effect


vocal style of performing hip-hop verse

Rhyme royal –

a poetic form using seven line stanzas in iambic pentameter with a rhyme pattern of ababbcc.


a poem or stanza of six lines in a poem


a thirty-nine line poem consisting of six six-line stanzas with a three-line stanza (tercet) at the end

Shakespearean sonnet –

a sonnet that has three four-line stanzas (quatrains) and a two-line stanza (couplet)

Slam poetry 

the competitive art of performance poetry


a fourteen-line poem in iambic pentameter with a carefully patterned rhyme scheme


a nineteen-line poem of five three-line stanzas (tercets) followed by a four-line stanza (quatrain) and which includes two repeating rhymes and two refrains.

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