shot glass
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

Glossary of Poetic Forms

The following are poetic forms that have appeared in Shot Glass Journal.

A 16-line form composed of four quatrains with eight syllables per line. The first line of stanza becomes the refrain and is repeated as the second line of stanza two, the third line of stanza three and the fourth line of stanza four. The quatern can be rhymed or unrhymed.

A "riddle rhyme" is a riddle written in the form of a poem. It relies on creative use of metaphor, simile, and metonymy using concrete imagery; and imaginative presentation and description of an object or concept.

A lyric poem from the 13th century which is characterized by repeating lines or "rounds". It has 15 lines written as a quintet, quatrain and sestet, with two rhyme schemes.

A 14th Century French lyrical poem. A variation of the Roundeau, it consists of two quatrains followed by a quintet (13 lines total) or a sestet (14 lines total). The first two lines are refrains which repeat at the end of the second and third stanzas. The rhyming pattern is ABba, abAB, abbaA.

The Rondolet is a French form consisting of a single septet with two rhymes and one refrain AbAabbA. The capital letters are the refrains, or repeats. The refrain is written in tetra-syllabic or dimeter and the other lines are twice as long - octasyllabic or tetrameter.

A Roundel is a poetry form created by Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909). It is a variation of the French rondeau form. A roundel consists of nine lines each having the same number of syllables, plus a refrain after the third line and after the last line. The refrain must be identical with the beginning of the first line: it may be a half-line, and rhymes with the second line. It has three stanzas and its rhyme scheme is as follows: A B A R ; B A B ; A B A R ; where R is the refrain.

A rhymed couplet with the first consonant of the end word of the first line and the first consonant of the word prior to the end word on the first line is reversed in the second line. The first consonant of the end word becomes the first consonant of the word prior to the end word on the second line.

Unrhymed single or multi-stanza sestet with a syllable count of 3-5-3-3-7-5.

A poem of seven lines Lines one to three should contain three connected or contrasting statements, or a list of three details, names or possibilities. This can take up all of the three lines or be contained anywhere within them. Lines four to six should similarly have three elements (statements, details, names, or possibilities) connected directly or indirectly or not at all. The seventh line should act as a narrative summary or punchline or an unusual juxtaposition.

Shakespearean Sonnet
A sonnet with 14 lines consisting of three quatrains and a couplet, with a rhyme scheme of abab cdcd efef gg.

The Sijo is a Korean short poetry form the 7th Century. A cousin of Haiku having originated from the Chinese. Three lines of 14-16 syllables totaling 44-46 syllables. Beginning - Line 1 presents a problem. Development - Line 2 develops or "turns" the thought. Conclusion - Line 3 resolves the problem or concludes the theme - surprise turn or twist is a must. A natural pause occurs midway in each line. Each half line should be 6-9 syllables.

Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5