Types of Poems

Essay by hemantsHigh School, 12th grade September 2004

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1. Lyric: subjective, reflective poetry with regular rhyme scheme and meter which reveals the poet's thoughts and feelings to create a single, unique impression.

Matthew Arnold, "Dover Beach"

William Blake, "The Lamb," "The Tiger"

Emily Dickinson, "Because I Could Not Stop for Death"

Langston Hughes, "Dream Deferred"

Andrew Marvell, "To His Coy Mistress"

Walt Whitman, "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking"

2. Narrative: nondramatic, objective verse with regular rhyme scheme and meter which relates a story or narrative.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Kubla Khan"

T. S. Eliot, "Journey of the Magi"

Gerard Manley Hopkins, "The Wreck of the Deutschland"

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "Ulysses"

3. Sonnet: a rigid 14-line verse form, with variable structure and rhyme scheme according to type:

a. Shakespearean (English)--three quatrains and concluding couplet i iambic pentameter, rhyming abab cdcd efef gg or abba cddc effe gg. The Spenserian sonnet is a specialized form with linking rhyme abab bcbc cdcd ee.

Robert Lowell, "Salem"

William Shakespeare, "Shall I Compare Thee?"

b. Italian (Petrarchan)--an octave and sestet, between which a break in thought occurs. The traditional rhyme scheme is abba abba cde cde (or, the sestet, any variation of c, d, e).

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "How Do I Love Thee?"

John Milton, "On His Blindness"

John Donne, "Death, Be Not Proud"

4. Ode: elaborate lyric verse which deals seriously with a dignified theme.

John Keats, "Ode on a Grecian Urn"

Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Ode, to the West Wind"

William Wordsworth, "Ode: Intimations of Immortality"

5. Blank Verse: unrhymed lines of iambic pentameter.

Robert Frost, "Birches"

John Milton, "Paradise Lost"

Theodore Roethke, "I Knew a Woman"

William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Robert Frost, "Mending Wall"

6. Free Verse: unrhymed lines without regular rhythm.

Walt Whitman, "The Last Invocation"

William Carlos Williams, "Rain," "The Dance"

Richard Wilbur, "Juggler"

7. Epic: a long, dignified...