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What are some different types of poetry?

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Quick Answer

Some of the most well-known types of poetry are Haiku, acrostic, sonnet and limerick. While there are many more styles of poetry and multiple variations of many of those styles, these are some of the most prominent.

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What are some different types of poetry?
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Full Answer

The Haiku originated in Japan and is a short poem of 17 syllables in three lines consisting of five, seven and five syllables, respectively. Typically, Haikus are written in the present tense and describe images of nature. The lines in a Haiku poem usually do not rhyme.

Acrostic poems are a favorite of young children when they first start learning about poetry. These poems consist of a word, name or phrase written vertically with the lines of the poem beginning with those letters. In some cases the vertical word passes through the middle or end of the lines, but beginning the lines with the letters is most common.

Sonnets are much more complex and have many variations. Sonnets consist of 14 lines of 10 syllables each. The lines follow a rhyming pattern. In English sonnets, the rhyming pattern is abab cdcd efef gg. The Italian version follows the pattern abba abba cdecde.

A limerick is an Irish style of poetry that usually involves humor. The rhyming of the poem follows the pattern aabba, with the last line being the punchline of the joke. Typically, the five lines of the poem have nine, nine, six, six and nine syllables, respectively.

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