Our world contains a lot of emotions, beauty, and feeling that need to be expressed. That’s why there are types of poems that are created to serve as a medium of these unexpressed experiences.

These types of poems vary from one another. There are long poems and there are short poems. They possess different kinds of identity and different sets of rules.

Literature offers a variety of poems. However, there are some poems we are very familiar with. These poems maybe have been taught in school or we might have been read it or heard them somewhere, or used online for marketing purposes or advertising.

Now, let’s learn about these 6 common types of poems with examples.

Blank Verse

A blank verse does not necessarily mean it is literally blank. It is just basically a poem written in a form of Iambic pentameter, five sets of unstressed/stressed iambs, for a total of ten syllables. Blank verse does not rhyme. Sometimes, blank verse’s monotony became its identity in the world of poetry. Also, the lack of rhyme keeps the dialogue conversational; the rhythmic pattern draws the audience into the chant.

William Shakespeare, Macbeth

But screw your courage to the sticking place,

And will not fail. And Duncan is asleep—

Whereto the rather shall his day’s hard journey

Soundly invite him—his two chamberlains

Will I with wine and wassail so convince

Elegy

Like any sorrow or pain, elegy is something needed to be felt. An elegy is a word composition that expresses sorrow or pain in death or a lamentation. This type of poem doesn’t have to fit a particular form. Elegies often move from mourning toward consolation.

Walt Whitman, O Captain, My Captain

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,

My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,

The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,

From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;

Free Verse

Being free doesn’t manifest that it is blank. So, never confuse yourself with free verse and a blank verse. Unlike blank verse, a free verse is a poem where it does not obey any poetic law such as the convention of any meter or any rhyming.

Carl Sandburg,  Fog

The fog comes

on little cat feet.

It sits looking

over harbor and city

on silent haunches

and then moves on.

Haiku

The Haiku has a Japanese origin that widen its influence in all parts of the world. Haiku has 17 syllables which are arranged in 3 lines. The theme of Haiku is mostly about nature or the four seasons. It also tends to contain two juxtaposed images or ideas.

Andrew Mancinelli, The Fire

I was in that fire,
The room was dark and somber.
I sleep peacefully.

That alarm then rang,
The sound annoying and loud,
But it saved my life.

 Limerick

A limerick is a short poem with 5 lines and a distinct rhythm. The first, second, and fifth lines are longer than the third and fourth lines. The rhyming pattern is AABBA. The theme of a limerick is delivering humor. The longer A lines rhyme with each other and the shorter B lines rhyme with each other.

Anonymous, Peru

There once was a man from Peru
Who had a lot of growing up to do,
He’d ring a doorbell,
then run like hell,
Until the owner shot him with a .22.

Sonnet

A sonnet is a poem consisting of 14 lines using any rhyming schemes, usually in 10 syllables. There are various forms of sonnets, but the most popular tend to be the English or Shakespearean sonnet.

Edna St. Vincent Millay, Chaos in 14 Lines

I will put Chaos into fourteen lines

And keep him there; and let him thence escape

If he be lucky; let him twist, and ape

Flood, fire, and demon–his adroit designs

Will strain to nothing in the strict confines

Of this sweet Order, where, in pious rape,

I hold his essence and amorphous shape,

Till he with Order mingles and combines.

Past are the hours, the years, or our duress,

His arrogance, our awful servitude:

I have him. He is nothing more than less

Than something simple not yet understood;

I shall not even force him to confess;

Or answer. I will only make him good.

In conclusion, the different types of poems don’t matter unless you will put words to it. So, express yourself freely and creatively.

Read more blog post:Elements of Poetry a Poet Must Know