What Are The Types Of Poetry And Their Definitions

Types of Poetry

Poetry is the craft of words. It is the creativity of words in their visual, spoken, and written forms. There are many different types of poetry, each of which has its own definition and style. Here we’ll look at the various kinds of poetry and their definitions.

Narrative Poetry

Narrative poetry is simply storytelling in poetic form. It is a poem that tells a story and often gives a moral lesson. Examples of narrative poetry include the Odyssey, Beowulf and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. These poems contain characters, a plot, setting, and conflict.

Lyrical Poetry

Lyrical poetry is more focused on emotion and personal thoughts of the poet. It expresses an idea or emotion, often with a musical or poetic rhythm. Examples of this include sonnets and haikus. This type of poetry does not necessarily follow traditional rules, allowing for more creative freedom.

Epic Poetry

Epic poetry is a long narrative poem focusing on heroic deeds, battles, and larger-than-life characters. It is usually written in a ceremonial or ceremonial language, and often incorporates supernatural elements such as gods and goddesses. Examples of epic poetry include The Iliad and The Odyssey.

Ballad Poetry

Ballad poetry is often known as the ‘folk song’ form of poetry. It tells a story in poetic form and often has a simple rhyme scheme. Examples of ballad poetry include ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ and ‘The Ballad of Sir Patrick Spens.’ This type of poetry is typically composed of quatrains, each of which follows the same rhyme scheme.

Elegy Poetry

Elegy poems are usually written to commemorate the death of a person or to evoke sorrow. This type of poetry often uses a mournful or desolate tone, as well as traditional poetic conventions such as the use of images, allusions, and nostalgia. Examples of elegy poetry are Milton’s ‘Lycidas’ and ‘On the Death of a Favourite Cat’ by Thomas Gray.

Limerick Poetry

Limerick poetry is a humorous form of poetry. It consists of five lines with a rhyme scheme of AABBA. The lines are usually of varying length and often incorporate clever wordplay. Examples of limerick poetry include ‘There Was an Old Man from Nantucket’ by Edward Lear, and ‘The Land of Counterpane’ by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Ode Poetry

Ode poetry is a type of lyrical poem that expresses feelings of admiration and reverence. It is usually written in a formal style and often includes elaborate images and metaphors. Examples of ode poetry include ‘To the Nightingale’ by John Keats, and ‘To a Skylark’ by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Haiku Poetry

Haiku poetry is a traditional Japanese form of poetry. It consists of three non-rhyming lines, with the first and last lines consisting of five syllables and the second line containing seven syllables. Haiku is often used to convey feelings on nature, time, and life. Examples of haiku poetry are ‘The old pond; / a frog jumps in – / the sound of water’ by Basho, and ‘Autumn moonlight – / a worm digs silently / into the chestnut’ by Issa.

Sonnet Poetry

Sonnet poetry is a popular and timeless form of poetry. It usually consists of fourteen lines with a strict rhyme scheme and meter. Sonnets often focus on themes such a love, beauty, and mortality. Some examples of sonnet poetry are ‘Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day’ by William Shakespeare, and ‘Sonnet XVIII’ by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Blank Verse Poetry

Blank verse poetry is poetry that does not rhyme, but follows a specific meter. It is the most commonly used type of poetry in dramatic works and often used to express strong emotions. Examples of blank verse poetry include ‘Ode on Melancholy’ by John Keats and ‘Invictus’ by William Ernest Henley.

Free Verse Poetry

Free verse poetry is a type of poetry that does not rely on any traditional rhyme or meter. This type of poetry is often used to express emotions or feelings, and is often more accessible for people who are not familiar with poetry. Examples of free verse poetry include ‘Dog’s Death’ by John Updike and ‘The Journey’ by Mary Oliver.

Concrete Poetry

Concrete poetry, also known as shaped poetry, is a type of poetry that uses the visual appearance of the words and phrases written on the page to convey meaning. Often, the words themselves form the shape of something that is being described. Examples of concrete poetry include ‘I Cried Because I had no Shoes’ by Allen Ginsberg and ‘The Crime of Self-Abuse’ by e.e. cummings.


These are some of the common types of poetry, each with its own definition and style. Whether it’s an epic poem or a haiku, the goal of poetry is to evoke emotion and challenge our thinking. Poetry is a form of art and creativity, and can be used to express a range of ideas and feelings.

Minnie Walters is a passionate writer and lover of poetry. She has a deep knowledge and appreciation for the work of famous poets such as William Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and many more. She hopes you will also fall in love with poetry!

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