Poetical Forms

“Form like comedy rescues us.”– Peter Cooley

a | b | c | d | e | f | h-i | k-l | m-o | p-r | s-z

abecedarian (ab’ – eh – suh – dare’ –ee – um)
plural—abecedariaalso called abecedarius, abecedary, and alphabet poem

from the Latin for alphabet/ primer
a form similar to an acrostic poem

example: Pete Flora’s “Civics Abcediary”
abstract poetry first coined by Dame Edith Stillwell, abstract poetry is poetry that relies not on grammatical structures, but rather on the auditory values of words and line to communicate meaning. Abstract poetry is similar to abstract art’s use of color and shape.
non representational

example: Cleopatra Mathis’ “ What She Said
  acrostic (uh – cros’ –tik)
from the Greek for tip/point

poem where the beginning letter of each line, when read downward, spells out a name, phrase, or clause. It is generally used for light verse, riddles, or occasional verse.

example: Jaiden Brown’s “Flowers”
  alphabet poem  see abecedarian
  ars poetica (arz’ po – et’ – ih –cuh)
from the Latin for art of poetry

a poem that presents or explores the poet’s view of what poetry is and does, and how poetry should be approached when writing and reading it.

example: Sheryl St. Germain’s “ How to Write a Poem
aubade (oh – bahd’)
from the French for dawn

a lyric poem about the dawn, set at dawn, or a morning serenade. The theme of an aubade is traditionally about the parting of lovers, a standard example is the lark scene in Act 3 sc 5 of Romeo and Juliet . Many scholars consider the alba to be an early form of an aubade.”I make myself write. I write every day, and I get up and write into the light.” —Peter Cooley

example: Peter Cooley’s “Your Own Hour”
  ballad (ba’ –lud)
from the Latin for dance
a narrative

poem written ballad stanzas. A ballad stanza has four lines with four stressed syllables in the first and third lines, and three stressed syllables in the rhyming second and fourth lines. The rhyme scheme follows this pattern. It may have a refrain or a chorus. A standard example of a ballad is “Sir Patrick Spens.”
blank verse unrhymed iambic pentameter

example: John Gery’s “from The Burning of New Orleans”
  Blues a poem usually written in tercets. The first two lines of the tercet traditionally are similar and set up the effect while the third line rhymes with the first two and states the cause. It is derived from African-American slave call and response or hollers and can be either poem or song. W.C. Handy popularized the song form and Langston Hughes adapted it by dividing each line into two shorter lines and creating Blues sestets instead of tercets. As a variation, instead of an approximate variation of the first line, the second line can vary more from the first and end with a rhyming word instead of the exact word from the first line, so that the tercet has a rhyme scheme of A, A, A instead of A, a, A.

example: Alison Pelegrin’s “Blue Roof Blues”
  calligramme   (cal’ – ee – gram)
see concrete poetry
  cento (sen’ – toe)
from the Latin for patchwork

a poem made up from lines and/ or passages from poems either of the same poet of from various poets.
  chance poetry also called aleatory poetry and similar to exquisite corpse

a poem written using chance methods such as words on cards, magnetic poetry, or choosing words randomly from a dictionary
  choral ode see Pindaric ode
clerihew (clair – ee – hugh)
invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley, it is a light verse with an AABB rhyme scheme. The first line includes the name of a famous person. The poem employs biographical facts, hyperbole, and absurd associations to portray the subject in a comedic light.
It is similar to an epigram .
  complaint a type of pastoral in which the shepherd praises his true love while bemoaning her cruelty to him
  concrete poem also called calligramme, carmen figuratum, emblematic verse, figured poem, pattern poem, shaped verse, and visual poema

poem where the words, lines, and letters create a picture or shape that suggests or informs the subject of the poem. Concrete poems are not a new creation; they depicted monuments in Ancient Greek texts.

example: Skip Fox’s “Out of Sight”
  confessional poetry a mid-twentieth century poetic movement where poets employed private details from their own lives. Often, but not always, the personal material was or is considered to be too shocking or embarrassing to discuss publicly.
  Cowleyan Ode (Cool’ –ee –an)
also called an irregular ode

an ode that does not use a matching metrical pattern for each stanza, rather each stanza can employ different line lengths, rhyme schemes, and meters from the previous or following stanza.
 cubist poetry