Glossary of Poetic Forms
The following are poetic forms that have appeared in Shot Glass Journal.
Three quatrains, each composed of alternating lines of iambic tetrameter and iambic dimeter rhyming abab. The form takes its name from the fact that it may also be described as a twelve-line poem with three stanzas made up of six English alexandrines (iambic hexameter), two in each stanza. Each alexandrine is broken into two lines of four and two feet, with alternating rhyme at the ends of those lines.
An aphorism expresses a general truth in a pithy sentence.
A found poem where words are crossed out until the poem remains.
A Blues sonnet is an American variation of the traditional sonnet. Written in iambic pentameter it has fourteen lines consisting of four blues stanzas which are rhyming tercets (triplet lines), a volta (a turn or change) after the last tercet, followed by a rhyming heroic couplet. It is derived from the Afro-American tradition of lamentation or complaint in which line two is an incremental repetition of line one and the third line is a climatic parallel.
A nine-line syllabic verse of the pattern 2 / 4 / 6 / 8 / 2 / 8 / 6 / 4 / 2.
A short poem, like a tweet, of 140 characters or less.
A Canzone, which means song in Italian, is a type of lyric poetry form. It is an early prototype of the sonnet, but does not have the conventional rhyme scheme. It can be written in various stanzaic lines usually with a concluding envoy.
The Cavatina has alternating rhyming and non-rhyming lines of 10 syllables and 4 syllables. The 10 syllable lines are non-rhyming and the 4 syllable lines rhyme. The lines are repeated at least three (3) times and end with a rhymed ten syllable line couplet. The rhyme scheme xaxa xbxb xcxc, etc. dd., x being unrhymed.
A cento is a work wholly composed of verses or passages taken from other authors; only disposed in a new form or order.
A short verse that tells a story, created by ai li, UK poet and artist. 6 line narrative poem made up of 3 separate strophes. A single line, a couplet and a tercet.
Cinquain is a short, usually unrhymed poem consisting of twenty-two syllables distributed as 2, 4, 6, 8, 2, in five lines
A split poem with the left side as one distinct poem, the right side as one distinct poem and the whole as one poem.
A French lyric poetry form that consists of four stanzas. The first and last are identical; the second half of the second stanza is a short refrain, which has as its text the first half of the first stanza.
A poem that is inspired by another art form, such as a painting, sculpture, photograph. The poem defines or describes the artwork.
An epigram is a short poem with a clever twist at the end or a concise and witty statement.
Something which indicates the salient facts about or characteristics of the deceased. Shortened form of the elegy.