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Poetry 30/30 Home Page

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Today's Prompt:

Format Descriptions

This section of the home page allows you to view descriptions and examples of the formats throughout the month quickly and easily.


Cacophony: A harsh discordant mixture of sounds.

Poems based on cacophony sound typically have hard-to-pronounce letter combinations that can twist your tongue when read aloud. Perfect word choice can really make your poem stand out.


Elegy: A poem of serious reflection, typically a lament for the dead.

Elegies are usually about mourning the loss of a loved one, but occasionally it can be used for self-reflection. For beginners, elegies can be written about the loss of something you desired.

Free Verse

Free Verse: Poetry that does not rhyme or have a regular meter.

Free verse poems will bend over their backs if you tell them to. The poet can format their poem however they like to- rhyme or no rhyme, metaphors or not- free verse's are, well, free!


Ghazal: Originally an Arabic verse form dealing with loss and romantic love, then embraced by Persian poets.

The ghazal is composed of a minimum of five couplets—and typically no more than fifteen—that are structurally, thematically, and emotionally autonomous. Each line of the poem must be of the same length, though meter is not imposed in English. The first couplet introduces a scheme, made up of a rhyme followed by a refrain. Subsequent couplets pick up the same scheme in the second line only, repeating the refrain and rhyming the second line with both lines of the first stanza. The final couplet usually includes the poet's signature, referring to the author in the first or third person, and frequently including the poet's own name or a derivation of its meaning."



Haiku: A traditional form of Japanese poetry

Haiku poems consist of 3 lines. The first and last lines of a Haiku have 5 syllables and the middle line has 7 syllables. The lines rarely rhyme."



Ode: A lyric poem in the form of an address to a particular subject, often elevated in style or manner and written in varied or irregular meter.

Odes were usually ment to be sung when they were created. They are often ceremonious and are made addresses a person place, thing, or idea.



Pantoums are made up of quatrains, but have a special repetition pattern. Click here for more information.

Prose Poem

Prose Poem: A piece of writing in prose having obvious poetic qualities, including intensity, compactness, prominent rhythms, and imagery.

Prose poems don't look like poems, but paragraphs, since they don't have any obvious lines or stanzas, but prose poems contain poetic devices that are obvious and distinguish a prose poem from a paragraph.


Quatrain: A four line poem.

A four line poem that can go on for infinitely many stanzas.


Sestina: A poem with six stanzas of six lines and a final triplet, all stanzas having the same six words at the line-ends in six different sequences that follow a fixed pattern, and with all six words appearing in the closing three-line envoi.

Sestinas are undoubtedly difficult, and rather hard to explain. Click here to learn how Sestinas work.


Sonnet: A poem of fourteen lines using any of a number of formal rhyme schemes, in English typically having ten syllables per line.

Iambic Pentameter; 10 syllables per line. They focus on a sentimment, but the thought or view of it changes throughout the poem. It contains 14 lines and are composed of 3 quatrains and a concluding couplet. The rhyme scheme is ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. Click here for more information. (Shakesperean Sonnet)


Tercet: A poem where the stanzas consist of three lines.

Tercets have lots of different rhyme patterns, but they are poems with 3 lines per stanza. (Minimum 4 stanzas during Poetry 30/30)

Terza Rima

Terza Rima: An arrangement of triplets, especially in iambs, that rhyme.

A poem consitsting of a minimum of four tercets in the rhyme pattern ABA BCB CDC DED...(etc.,)


Villanelle: A poem that is made up of five tercets followed by a quatrain, built on refrians.

A refrain is a line that repeats throughout the poem. Villanelle's refrains and a rhyme pattern that flows really ncie. A popular villanelle is "Do not go gentle into that good night", by Dylan Thomas. Click here to learn more about Villanelles.