The Different Types Of Poetry

Poetry is a form of written art developed by humans almost since the first word was written down and recorded. Needless to say, we’ve refined the artform into many different styles using many different literary devices. While we usually focus on finding new and interesting writers for our readers, today we’ve decided to go a different route: we’re going to explore the many different kinds of poetry.

Rhymed Poetry. This is obviously one of the most classic and commonly used forms of poetry — and of course this style can be used in conjunction with or to complement other popular styles. It’s not unusual to see the end of each line or every other line rhyme inside an epic, sonnet, or ode, for example. Finding words that rhyme was once a skill all its own, but there are many websites devoted to helping writers find rhyming words through complex algorithms — making the style easier to try than ever before.

Epic. We prefer to avoid sharing epics on our website because they’re simply too long to post. These poems are long, narrative works of art. They often explore legendary characters or mythological stories. Common themes in poetic epics are adventure, going on a journey or quest, or performing an almost god-like feat. 

Narrative. Speaking of narrative poetry, these poems tell a story. They can be short or long, but they veer toward longer length. One of the most popular narrative poems is “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Narrative poems are different from other stories because of the tendency to use metaphorical imagery and other literary devices to get the point across.

Haiku. The Japanese Haiku is a beloved type of poetry with only three lines going back and forth from five syllables to seven, and then back to five. Because of their ultra-short length, they can be an easy assignment for young students — because they won’t take much time to complete and force the writer to say a lot with only a little.

Limerick. These short poems consist of five lines that rhyme in the form “AABBA” (i.e. the first, second, and fifth lines follow one rhyme, while the third and fourth follow another). Limericks are great assignments for young children. They’re not as long as traditional poems and not as short as the traditional haiku.

Ballad. This type of poetry generally flows like music from stanza to stanza, with quatrains that follow rhyming schemes. John Keats was a popular writer of ballads. 

Ode. These poems, which originated in Greece, generally give a shout-out to a historical figure, dead or alive. An ode is meant to be sung. They usually glorify the subject, which might not be a figure at all. The subject might be an event, object, or even an abstract concept. It’s all up to the writer’s imagination. These are challenging assignments usually given to liberal arts college students.