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Traditional Poetry Forms:

  bullet   Acrostic
  bullet   Ballad
  bullet   Cinquain
  bullet   Clerihew
  bullet   Diamante
  bullet   Didactic
  bullet   Epic
  bullet   Epigram
  bullet   Epitaph
  bullet   Etheree
  bullet   Fable
  bullet   Free Verse
  bullet   Ghazal
  bullet   Haiku
  bullet   Katauta
  bullet   Kyrielle
  bullet   Kyrielle Sonnet
  bullet   Lanturne
  bullet   Limerick
  bullet   Minute Poetry
  bullet   Monody
  bullet   Monorhyme
  bullet   Naani
  bullet   Nonet
  bullet   Ode
  bullet   Ottava Rima
  bullet   Palindrome
  bullet   Pantoum
  bullet   Quatern
  bullet   Quatrain
  bullet   Quinzaine
  bullet   Rispetto
  bullet   Rondeau
  bullet   Rondel
  bullet   Rondelet
  bullet   Sedoka
  bullet   Senryu
  bullet   Septolet
  bullet   Sestina
  bullet   Shape Poetry
  bullet   Song
  bullet   Sonnet
  bullet   Tanka
  bullet   Terza Rima
  bullet   Terzanelle
  bullet   Tetractys
  bullet   Tongue Twister
  bullet   Triolet
  bullet   Tyburn
  bullet   Villanelle


A Sonnet is a poem consisting of 14 lines (iambic pentameter) with a particular rhyming scheme:

Examples of a rhyming scheme:

#1) abab cdcd efef gg
#2) abba cddc effe gg
#3) abba abba cdcd cd

A Shakespearean (English) sonnet has three quatrains and a couplet, and rhymes abab cdcd efef gg.

An Italian sonnet is composed of an octave, rhyming abbaabba, and a sestet, rhyming cdecde or cdcdcd, or in some variant pattern, but with no closing couplet.

Usually, English and Italian Sonnets have 10 syllables per line, but Italian Sonnets can also have 11 syllables per line.

French sonnets follow in this same pattern, but normally have 12 syllables per line.

Example #1:
Sonnet of Demeter (Italian Sonnet)

Oh the pirate stars, they have no mercy!
Masquerading as hope they tell their lies;
Only the young can hear their lullabies.
But I am barren and I am thirsty
Since she has gone. No hope is there for me.
I will roam and curse this earth and these skies--
Death from life which Zeus sovereign denies.
My heart's ill shall the whole world's illness be

Till she is returned-- my daughter, my blood--
From the dark hand of Hades to my care.
With my tears these mortals shall know a flood
To show Poseidon's realm desert and bare.
No myrtle shall flower, no cypress bud
Till the gods release her...and my despair.

Copyright  2000 Erica Fay

Example #2:
To (French Sonnet)

Elle est muette.  Waiting in wind towards nightfall,
dawn emerges early with purple hands, eager
for a song of mountains.  Silhouetting meager
ground, sun throws her whispy shadow across and tall.
(She had never been imprisoned or subdued
beneath his lips, hands, or eyes, which roughly tasted,
perhaps, the small of her back ere passion wasted
her soul, or planets quit orbits standing still - queued.)
Elle est muette.  Sighing under sun - coming twilight
beckons secret sentiments unspoken; verses
promised in breaths - never to be revealed; curses
against space and time for splitting the seams of night.

Fingers trace Venus in the sky - wishes are flung
and whispers are sent from tenderly silent tongue.

Copyright  2000 Christine Ann Kelley

Example #3:
Sonnet (Italian Sonnet)

I set my soul free down the dreamers lane
Thoughts of joyful times bring my mind aflight
Moons of memories drip so lovely light
Stars above hum a tune to ease my pain
I sail a sea where kings of past did reign
Thoughts buried deep burn in the stars so bright
To see the legends only I may sight
A life of imagery that pumps in vein

As life is written in a hidden page
I soar among all the things that will fly
I'm always seeking my soul's so lost core
Sooths all of my hate and my painful rage
Sorrow from all my blood dripped tears I cry
Dreams are the peace felt in life times before

Copyright  2000 Emily Webber

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