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Poetry Style Guide

Page history last edited by Mrs. K. 7 months, 3 weeks ago



Poetry Style Guide


ABC Poem-- A poem with one word per line.  The writer begins with any letter in the alphabet for the first word; the next line begins with the next letter of the alphabet and so on.  The poem may be as long or as short as desired, and the alphabet may be used backwards too.




Dance on







Acrostic Poem-- The first letter in each line can be read vertically to form a word. 














Concrete/Picture Poem-- An idea that is expressed in both verbal and pictorial form.





Suck it in 

Late --as usual-- hurry hurry hurry

I forgot to do the wash last night

Actually I didn't forget

I read a book instead

Couldn't find my

favorite jeans they

must be on the floor

of the laundry room

I'm sure these will fit

I think they will fit . . .

Haven't worn them lately

I thought they fit me last year --

or maybe it was the year before that?

For crying out loud -- must have been 1989

That's it I give up . . .

where are my sweatpants?

Cheese Burger

by Kennedy C.

















Found Poem-- A found poem is made with words and phrases from something you read or hear.  It uses someone else's words, but the poet combines them in a new way.


Where's the Hospital Zone When You Need It?

By Bruce Lansky


Men Working


Weak Shoulders

Don't Stop At This Restaurant

By Bruce Lansky


Next Exit

Taco Bell



Cinquain-- Five-line poem that follows a distinct pattern as follows:


line 1: a one-word title

line 2: two words describing the title

line 3: three words expressing action

line 4: four words expressing a feeling

line 5: another word for the title


speedy, amazing

typing, surfing, IMing

freezing, error, corrupt file




Diamante-- seven-line poem that has a specific format as follows:

line 1: one-word title

line 2: two words describing the title

line 3: three -ing words telling about the title

line 4: four nouns relating to the title

line 5: three -ing words describing line 7

line 6: two words describing line 7

line 7: one word that is nearly the opposite of the title


dark, tired

slumbering, snoring, dwindling

moon, darkness, shadows, quiet

rising, shining, awakening

sunny, bright



Wingspark-- has 5 lines which follow a specific pattern:


line 1: "I dreamed"

line 2: answers the question Who?

line 3: answers the question Where?

line 4: shows action

line 5: describes how the action was done

I dreamed

Martin Luther King Jr.

Came to my classroom

Bringing the message of hope to all

with his words

List Poem-- any number of lines in the poem that list ideas, usually without transitional phrases.  List poems may be based on any possible concept (things that are beautiful, things that are ugly, things I found when I cleaned my room, things you shouldn't do with a lawnmower...)


Where Poetry Hides…

By: 3rd Hour English


Poetry hides…


On my 4 wheeler driving down the road,

In the fun of sports,

In your heart,

In my room on a rainy day,

In the woods on a summer night,

Inside me, deep down,

In a rainbow,

In my pencil bag,

Out in the barn in the hayloft,

Outside in the woods when I am running around having fun,

In a feather on a bird in the sky,

At the bottom of the ocean,

In the heart and soul of a person,

In my closet by my shoes,

In the tip of a pencil waiting to be written,

In the smiles of my friends and family,

By my creek under a shady tree,

By a swimming pool,

Anywhere in the world!



Clerihew-- 4 line poem with AABB rhyme scheme that starts with a name.



Lewis Carroll

bought sumptuous apparel

and built an enormous palace

out of the profits of Alice


--E. Clerihew Bently

Mr. H.G. Wells

was composed of cells.

He thought the human race

was a perfect disgrace


--E. Clerihew Bently

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

thinks he's best by far.

But Dr. J puts him to shame

with moves throughout the game.



Haiku-- three lines in length and usually about nature.  The first line must have five syllables, the second line seven syllables and the third line five syllables.


The young tree bending

the wind whispering the way

swaying back again.


Limerick-- stylized rhymes - always 5 lines.  The first, second and fifth lines rhyme, and the third and fourth rhyme. (AABBA rhyme scheme)


There once was a dog from the pound.

She liked to escape to downtown.

She snuck out one night,

and gave us a fright,

but by morning was back sleeping sound.


Free Verse-- It's not that no rules apply to free verse; rather, the poet makes up the rules for each poem!  Free verse done well will have rhythm, though it may not have a regular beat.  A variety of poetic devices may be woven throughout the piece.  There may be patterns of sound and repetition.  Free verse can be compared to a song that doesn't rhyme.  There is still a lyrical quality to it.




the sun bounces

off the metallic blue

of the chevy

and the gravel road dust

eats at the green

as we rumble by

glancing at everything

noticing nothing

we rush to live

we look with affection

and acknowledge the day

for what it contains

and what it implies

of simple complications

your beautiful eyes

and my smile

too bright

for the afternoon


Sonnet-- a fourteen-line poem that has a strict form and rhyme scheme, but freedom of topic within the form.


Sonnet 71 --No longer mourn for me when I am dead

By William Shakespeare


No longer mourn for me when I am dead 

Then you shall hear the surly sullen bell

Give warning to the world that I am fled

From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell:

Nay, if you read this line, remember not

The hand that writ it; for I love you so

That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot

If thinking on me then should make you woe.

O, if, I say you look upon this verse

When I perhaps compounded am with clay,

Do not so much as my poor name rehearse.

But let your love even with my life decay,

Lest the wise world should look into your moan

And mock you with me after I am gone.

Here is a link to try out some free verse, haiku, cinquain, and limerick poems with Scholastic's Poetry Idea Engine.


***There are many more poetry forms, but these are just a few we will talk about in class***


All poems on this page copyright Jeannie Krambeer unless otherwise stated.

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