The Different Structures of Poems

Most of us have been touched by a poem at least once in their lifetime. Poems are a beautiful way to express human emotions. They can be complicated or simply formed. While most of us enjoy poetry, very few of us would think of writing a poem to express our own experiences. The task seems daunting and complicated. It does not always have to be that way. If you study the basic structure of different poems, you will easily be able to write simple poems for your own enjoyment. It is a joyful endeavour and will be a very satisfying experience. Someone has rightly said that poetry is the language of the soul.
Haiku – The most shortest and popular form of poem is a haiku. This is a form derived from Japanese poetry. Haiku is a three-line poem with the first and third line having five syllables each. The second line has seven syllables. Haiku does not necessarily have to rhyme. Haikus focus on a particular revealing or insightful moment. Images are integral to a haiku poem. The positioning and contrast of these images is what makes a haiku beautiful.
Tanka – Tanka is traditionally, a non rhyming form of Japanese poetry with 5 lines. The second, fourth and fifth lines have seven syllables each while the first and third lines have five syllables. The subject of a tanka usually deals with human emotions.
Shape poems – These are easy to master once you get the hang of it. Shapes poems are poems written in a particular shape. To begin, first draw a shape. The shape can be a triangle, a heart or even a shape of a Christmas tree. Start our writing your poem in these shapes and watch your poem literally take shape.
Calligrams – Calligrams are poems that take the shape of the subject of the poem. For example a poem talking about a house can take the shape of a house.
Acrostic poems – Acrostic poems are fun and have a puzzle to solve. The first letter on each line can spell out some name. The trick is to look for a pattern.
Ekphrastic poems – Ekphrastic poems are those which comment on an art piece such as a painting or an artefact. Sometimes it is the other way round. Artists are inspired by the imagery presented in the poem.
Quincouplets – This is a recent form of poetry inspired by a six word story by Ernest Hemingway. It is a five word poem with two words on the first line and three words in the second line.
Free verse poems – These do not have a specific structure and give the poet total freedom. This is a perfect form for beginning writers to start with.


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