Poetry Definitions and Experimentation, Part 1

I’m a poet.  Not a professional one…by no means.  But I love words.  So please enjoy this post (and the ones following) where I’m going to walk you through some common types of poetry that I’m experimenting with.  Feel free to post your own poems in the comments!

Here are some poetry techniques you should know before we get started (because I might refer to them):

  • Rhyme scheme–the rhyming pattern used in a poem.  Letters are used to indicate the lines that rhyme, and the lines that don’t.  For example, in the poem “The Night Before Christmas,” the rhyme scheme in the first four lines (‘Twas the night before Christmas / When all through the house / Not a creature was stirring / Not even a mouse) is ABCB because the second line and the fourth line rhyme, but the first line and the third line don’t.
  • Meter–a unit of rhythm in poetry, the pattern of the beats. It is also called a foot. Each foot has a certain number of syllables in it, usually two or three syllables. The difference in types of meter is which syllables are accented and which are not. [definition from Your Dictionary] …So here’s where it gets a bit complicated: there are different types of meter:
    • Iamb–a type of foot that consists of 2 syllables: the first is unstressed and the second is stressed.  Try saying this line (the stressed syllables are in capitalized and bolded): I NEver SAW a PURple COW (from Gelett Burgess’s poem “I Never Saw a Purple Cow”).
    • Trochee–a type of foot that consists of 2 syllables: the first is stressed and the second is unstressed (so the opposite of an iamb).  Try saying this line out loud (again, the stressed syllables are capitalized and bolded): DOUble, DOUble, TOIL and TROUble (from Shakespeare’s Macbeth).  Are you getting it?


Free Verse Poems:

This is a poem I wrote about snow and how beautiful it is.  A free verse poem is a poem that has no limits on what you can do in the poem.  So basically, the author of the poem can do whatever they want regarding rhymes schemes, meter, etc.!  This is probably my favorite poetry form because I love the freedom it allows you.

Winter tree branches bare,            A

Bleak and gray everywhere,        A

Then comes snow,                          B

The world feels,                               C

White and clean instead of bare. A

So this poem does have something of a rhyme scheme (AABCA).

I also wrote some other free verse poems, which I won’t post here.  If you want to read them, see the “Writings” page at the top of the page.

And now for a famous free verse poem:


Alrighty!  That’s it for today.  Be sure to check back soon because I’ll hopefully *cough* have the next part up soon.





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