Poetry (Photo credit: Kimli)
From Lizbeth: The following is a guest post by Kenney Myers. It originally appeared on his blog. I already wrote about poetic forms in modern poetry, and I thought this was a nice summary of many of the formal types of poetry.
When it comes to poetry, there are more formal types than the casual reader may realize. There’s definitely more to poetry than the rhyming sentiments in greeting cards, though many of those verses do adhere to one of these style forms. The poetry types listed here are a mere sampling of the many different forms out there, and can serve as an interesting starting point for a deeper study of poetry and its many styles.
- Haiku – Comprised of three unrhymed lines with rigid syllable requirements, the Japanese haiku poetry form generally contains a season word and often focuses on nature. The syllable scheme of five morae for the first line, seven for the second and an additional five in the final line can present an interesting challenge for new poets.
- Limericks – With five lines and a standard verbal rhythm, limericks are almost always humorous and are known for being quite bawdy. Vulgar limericks are certainly not uncommon, despite the fairly rigid format of five anapestic lines.
- Sonnets – Immortalized by the classic works of William Shakespeare, Edna St. Vincent Millay and other masters of the form, sonnets are fourteen-line lyric poems that typically have one or more conventional rhyme schemes.
- Villanelle – With nineteen lines, five tercets and a final quatrain on two rhymes, the villanelle is a challenging poetry form. The first and third lines of the first tercet also repeat alternately as closing refrains on the succeeding stanzas and the final couplet of the quatrain.
- Epics – The sweeping poems detailing the heroic exploits of a strong figure are called epics, and are generally quite long and very serious. The Odyssey, Beowulf and Mahabharata are all examples of famous epic poems.
- Couplets – Couplet poems are made up of two-line, rhyming stanzas. Couplets are commonly used in greeting card verses, though there are also some famous literary couplets.
- Elegies – Melancholy in tone, elegies are poems written in remembrance of a particular person after their death. These memorial poems are thoughtful and respectful, generally detailing the accomplishments and good qualities of the departed subject.
- Free Verse – Free verse poetry, or vers libre, can be written with or without a set rhyme scheme, have no fixed metrical pattern and no style requirements. Modern poetry publishers tend to favor free verse styles over the more rigid, formal formats of the past.
- Lyric – The word “lyric” doesn’t just refer to the words of a song, though song lyrics are usually considered a lyric poem. The true definition of a lyric poem is that it expresses the feelings and thoughts of the writer, and focuses largely on emotion or opinion.
- Ode – Long in length, meditative or thoughtful in nature and almost always in a serious tone, lyric poems feature an elevated style and the structure of stanzas is formal.
- Quatrain – The format of a quatrain requires that the four lines adhere to a specific scheme. The second and fourth lines must rhyme and contain roughly the same number of syllables in order to retain the metrical style and verbal rhythm associated with the quatrain.
- Rondeau – French in origin, the rondeau contains ten or thirteen lines with two rhymes, and the opening phrase is repeated twice within the poem as the refrain.
- Sestina – Six stanzas of six lines each and a three-line envoy are the stamps of a sestina, with the last words of the first stanze repeated in a varied order in the other stanzas and also recurring in the envoy.
- Romanticism – Poetry focused on the concept of love with an emphasis on the poet’s personal experience in love or romance falls under the “romanticism” style of poetry.
- Pastoral – Poems that celebrate a rural lifestyle in the bucolic wonder of nature are referred to as “pastoral” poems. Nature untouched by the encroachment of modern civilization is the focus of a pastoral poem, with Milton’s pastoral epic Paradise Lost being one of the most famous examples.
Be sure to let me know if I missed any!
Another note from Lizbeth: I do like a pantoum, myself, a Malaysian form adapted by the French. Perhaps I’ll do a follow-up post about my favorite poem forms.
Posted by Lizbeth on April 10, 2013
Out driving with my girl
In the hills east of town
Through the glowing afternoon
The sunlight reflects from storm clouds
Gathering over the mountains
Over the hills invisibly flowing and crumpling
Higher, ever higher. When we are gone past memory,
Mountains will rise here.
Sunlight slides into storm,
Our time here is as fleeting as a breath.
Crow lifts off from a fencepost,
Dives into the wheat field, and is gone.
Posted by Lizbeth on January 7, 2013
Father Unknown — Fay Sampson
The Great Escape — Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Empress of the Seven Hills — Kate Quinn
Big Stone Gap — Adriana Trigiani
Posted by Lizbeth on October 27, 2012
Note: Usually, I receive no compensation for my book reviews — the books come from the library or I purchase them. However, for this book review, I accepted a free review copy. This book review is part of a blog tour promoted by Lightning Book Promotions.
Read to the bottom of the post to enter to win a copy of Annie’s Special Day!
Annie’s Special Day, by Clara Bowman-Jahn, is a very special book. Sweetly illustrated, it follows Annie throughout her birthday, showing all the special things that happen to Annie, from her brother playing a birthday song to planting tulips with her mom, to her slumber party with her friends that night. A different clock is shown on each page, marking off the hours and helping kids learn to tell time.
I liked it very much, especially the different clocks. The little girl I read it to also liked it very much, asking for it to be read over and over.
Five out of five stars.
A note about the book & blog tour:
Everyone knows the importance of reading in a young child’s life. Clara understand this importance and that is why she has asked her publisher to donate one copy of Annie’s Special Day for every copy sold during Annie’s Special Day blog tour to Kids Need To Read at http://www.kidsneedtoread.org
/. Help make a child’s life brighter with a book!
Let’s support kids and reading!
Last but not least, the Giveaway!
Posted by Lizbeth on October 17, 2012
The results of taking unwanted books to the used bookstore for credit and the library book sale:
Get Off the Unicorn — Anne McCaffrey
The Death of Sleep — Anne McCaffrey & Jody Lynn Nye
The Tomorrow Tamer — Margaret Laurence
The Senator’s Wife — Karen Robards
The Cat Who Brought Down the House — Lillian Jackson Braun
The Mermaid Chair — Sue Monk Kidd
Knockout — Catherine Coulter
Posted by Lizbeth on September 8, 2012
The Beginner’s Goodbye — Anne Tyler
Copper Beach — Jayne Ann Krentz
The Taste of Salt — Martha Southgate
The Best American Short Stories of 2011 — edited by Geraldine Brooks
Birds of Paradise — Diana Abu-Jaber
There were lots of great books in the New Books section at the library today. I had to leave (enough books for a while) before I had looked at all the ones that caught my eye. Next time, I guess.
Posted by Lizbeth on June 9, 2012
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett is accurately named. Having finished it, I find myself in a state of wonder at the way things all turned out. The phrase is also an apt metaphor for many of the characters’ states of mind throughout the book. I think I am left with more questions than answers at the end of this book. It is excellent, and I find myself liking it all the more for the lack of a ‘Guide to this Book’ that you find at the back of books so often nowadays.
I know the ‘Guides’ are there to make the book more desirable to book clubs (which the publishers of course wish to encourage — what seller doesn’t want to sell a dozen copies at a time?) but they (the ‘Guides’) often seem so simplistic — asking basic questions about the characters’ motivations and feelings. It reminds me too strongly of the essays I had to write in high school.
Somehow, when I find a book lacking a ‘Guide,’ particularly a book as incomprehensible as this one, the lack says, ‘I don’t need to tell someone how to read me, I can stand on my own, even if no one really understands what that means.’ It has a dignity all its own, beyond the explanatory questions.
Posted by Lizbeth on May 23, 2012
Judging by the author blurb in the back of the book,The McCloud Home for Wayward Girlsis Wendy Delsol’s first book for adults, as opposed to young adults. It shows, particularly in the first couple chapters, as Ms. Delsol lays the groundwork for the book’s mystery and begins to build suspense around the tissue of lies the characters have created for themselves. But as the novel gains speed, Ms. Delsol gains confidence, and the writing becomes less clunky and much smoother.
By the end of the book, the reader realizes that the main character, Jill, and those closest to her have been living in a world of lies for decades. Nothing is as it seems, and the entire house of cards comes down when Ruby, Jill’s mother and family matriarch, begins acting very strangely. All’s well that ends well, but it is an emotionally wrenching journey to get there.
I do recommend this book — stick with it through the first couple chapters and you will be well-rewarded. Four out of five stars.
Posted by Lizbeth on March 12, 2012