The Wonderful World of Poetry

Poetry is a lot of fun to read and a lot of fun to write. Hopefully by using this webpage, you can learn to write your own poems. There are many different kinds of poems. This website will not teach you how to write all of them. There are several kinds you can learn how to write from this webpage.

Be creative and have a lot of fun!

Sometimes it is beneficial to use a rhyming dictionary to help you on rhyming poems. You may use the following site if you need help rhyming:
Rhyme Zone



The cinquain is a simple, five-line verse form. Here are some examples:

Frisky, playful
Mewing, jumping, bouncing
Creep silently on padded paws

Snow-capped and cloud-touching
White against shining, azure sky
High peak

Use the following structure to write a cinquain:

Line 1--one word of two syllables (may be the title)
Line 2--four syllables describing the subject or title
Line 3--six syllables that shows action
Line 4--eight syllables that express a feeling or observation about the subject
Line 5--two syllables that describe or rename the subject.

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A haiku is an unrhymed Japanese poem of three lines.
It is usually light and delicate in feeling and is concerned with something lovely in nature, especially the season of the year.
Here are some examples:

Loud, crashing thunder
and then the rain pouring down
the rainbow appears
Gentle raindrops fall
reflected in the puddles,
thirsty flowers drink

The haiku follows this simple pattern:
Line 1: five syllables
Line 2: seven syllables
Line 3: five syllables

Follow these steps to help you write your own haiku:
Step 1: Select an object from nature.
Step 2: Brainstorm to create lists of words or phrases that describes how the object looks, feels, etc., or how you feel about the object.
Step 3: Write a sentence using the ideas developed in step two.
Step 4: Adjust the syllables and words to fit the haiku pattern.

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A tanka is another oriental verse form much like the haiku, except that two more lines of seven syllables each are added to give tanka a total of thirty-one syllables.
Here are some examples:

The great out-of-doors
beckoned to us one and all.
We sought nature's joys
along her creeks and rivers
and in the cool of the glade.
Beautiful mountains
Rivers with cold, cold water
White cold snow on rocks
Trees over the place with frost
White sparkly snow everywhere

The tanka pattern goes like this:
Line 1: five syllables
Line 2: seven syllables
Line 3: five syllables
Line 4: seven syllables
Line 5: seven syllables

Follow these steps to help you write your own tanka:
Step 1: Select an object from nature.
Step 2: Brainstorm to create lists of words or phrases that describes how the object looks, feels, etc., or how you feel about the object.
Step 3: Write a sentence or two using the ideas developed in step two.
Step 4: Adjust the syllables and words to fit the tanka pattern.

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Alliteration is the repetition of a sound in two or more neighboring words. It is the repeated use of an accented syllable that has the same beginning sound. The poem could have a rhyming pattern, such as ABAB or AABB.
Here are some examples:

A flea and a fly got caught in a flue.
Said the fly, "Let us flee."
Said the flea, "Let us fly."
So together they flew through a flaw in the the flue.

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where's the pickled peppers
That Peter Piper picked?
Six spotted snakes sipped cinnamon cider
And stared at Sam, a passing spider

Follow these steps to write your own alliteration poem.
Step 1: Think of a sound and make a list of words that have that sound.
Step 2: See which words you could put together to make a sentence.
Step 3: See if you can make two or four lines that rhyme.
Step 4: Think of it as a tongue twister.

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A limerick is an amusing verse of five lines. There are three long lines which rhyme and two short lines that rhyme. Limericks also have a rhythm.
Line 1, 2, and 5 rhyme and have three stressed syllables.
Line 3 and 4 rhyme and have two stressed syllables.
Here are some examples:

There once was a boy at our school
Who thought he was terribly cool.
He wore fancy jeans
Strode around with the teens
But ended up playing the fool.
There once was a musical king
Who suddenly started to sing
The birds in the sky
All started to fly
Nearer that talented king.

To write a limerick follow this pattern:
Step 1: Choose the name of the person, place, or thing your limerick is going to be about.
Step 2: Create your first line. (You may want to follow the pattern,
"There once was a _______ from _________.)
Step 3: Think of a second line that rhymes with your first line.
Step 4: Write two short lines that rhyme with each other which tell something about your topic.
Step 5: Now think of a final line that rhymes with your first line.
Step 6: Now check your poem for the correct rhythm.
Here's another example:

There was an Old Man with a beard
Who said, "It is just as I feared!"
Two owls and a hen
Four larks and a wren
Have all built their nests in my beard!"

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The diamonte is fun and easy to write. The purpose is to go from the subject at the top of the diamond to another totally different (and sometimes opposite) subject at the bottom.
Here are some examples:

young, rambunctious
playing, fighting, tumbling
growth, change, development, maturity
achieving, working, striving
older, wiser
clever, cuddly
crouching, pouncing, purring
meow, feline, canine, bark
running, sniffing, yelping
lovable, smart

Here is the pattern to follow:

Line 1: One noun (subject #1)
Line 2: Two adjectives (describing subject #1)
Line 3: Three participles (words ending in -ing, telling about #1)
Line 4: Four nouns (first two about subject #1, second two about subject #2)
Line 5: Three participles (about subject #2)
Line 6: Two adjectives (describing subject #2)
Line 7: One noun (subject #2)

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The clerihew is a four-line poem that makes a brief, humorous statement about a person. It is named after Edmund Clerihew Bentley, an English writer of detective stories, who originated this verse form.
Here are some examples:

Little Mary Jane
Sittin' in the rain,
Lost her red raincoat
And soon will be afloat!
Down the street goes big Bob Brown
Tallest kid around this town
Six foot eight is his new size
Towers o'er the other guys.

Follow this pattern to write your own:
Line 1: Ends with a person's name.
Line 2: Rhymes with line 1.
Line 3 and 4: Rhyme with each other and tell more about the person.

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"If" Poem

"If" Poems are great fun, and the possibilities are endless. You can have a short "If" poem or a long one. Here are some examples:

If I were brown, I'd be a turtle
deep burrowed in mud.

If I were orange, I'd be a
newt's belly.

If I were pink, I'd be a salmon
leaping upstream.

If I were green, I'd be a
rainforest and I'd help
the world breathe.

If I were a black bee,
I'd buzz around town.
I'd soar like a bird above the whole world
I'd drop on someone and stick in my stinger and fall to the ground.

Here is one pattern you can follow to write your own "If" poem:
If I were a ________________,
I'd ______________________(action).
I'd __________________________(action)
and ____________________________.

Feel free to add as many lines as you need to make your poem. This poem can be funny, serious, informative, or sad. It can be anything you want it to be.

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A lantern is a light and airy Japanese poem that is written in the shape of a japanese lantern. Lanterns can be written singly or in a string.
Here are some examples:

so blue
many clouds
above the earth
running fast
playing some games
blowing down
gold, red, and brown

Here is the pattern to write a lantern:
Line 1: one syllable
Line 2: two syllables
Line 3: three syllables
Line 4: four syllables
Line 5: one syllable

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Quatrains are four-line poems that may follow any one of four different rhyme patterns. When quatrains are combined to make a long poem, each group of four lines is called a stanza. Quatrains are used in ballads to tell a story, sometimes humorous, but more often sad.

The rhyming patterns are:
AABB--Lines 1 and 2 rhyme, lines 3 and 4 rhyme
ABAB--Lines 1 and 3 rhyme, lines 2 and 4 rhyme
ABCB--Lines 2 and 4 rhyme, lines 1 and 3 do not rhyme
ABBA--Lines 1 and 4 rhyme, lines 2 and 3 rhyme

Here are some examples of each pattern:

AABB Pattern Birthday parties are colorful, surprising affairs.
With presents of dolls and cute teddy bears.
After the presents come cake and ice cream.
The party girl certainly feels like a queen.
ABAB Pattern On one dark and wintry day
When it was very cold,
Down flew a screaming jay
Squawking in a voice so bold.
ABCB Pattern The rushing ocean waves
Beat harshly on the sand
They roar and crash and foam
As they break upon the land.
ABBA Pattern A museum is a place where time disappears.
You may be a young pirate sailing the ocean waves,
Or a brave Spanish explorer in search of golden caves,
But when you leave the museum, time reappears.

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A couplet is a two-line poem that rhymes. Each line contains the same number of syllables. They are usually written with a humorous twist. Several couplets can be written together to tell a story.
Here are some examples:

I found a starfish in the bay
When I was fishing yesterday.

Many arms and colors bright
Sea stars are a special sight.

My son, Jonathon, came running out
To see what the noise was all about.

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Sensory Poem

A sensory poem is an unrhymed poem that describes a feeling. Then you describe this feeling by telling what it sounds, smells, tastes, looks, and feels like:
Here is an example:

Cheerfulness is yellow.
It sounds like a baby's laughter.
It smells like lilies of the valley.
It tastes like lemon pie.
It looks like a field of sunflowers.
Cheerfulness feels like the warm sun.

Here is the pattern to write a sensory poem:
Line 1: Name an emotion of feeling. Finish the line with a color word.
Line 2: Tell what it sounds like.
Line 3: Tell what it smells like.
Line 4: Tell what it tastes like.
Line 5: Tell what it looks like.
Line 6: Tell what it feels like, but start the line with the emotion.

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