2013 Hubbie Award for Most Interesting Hub
On October 8, 2013, this article received the 2013 Hubbie Award for Most Interesting Hub. It is indeed an honor to be recognized by my fellow writers. My heartfelt thanks to everyone who voted.
Euterpe, Muse of Lyric Poetry and Music
What is poetry?
Poetry is a form of literature using language to portray the artistic qualities of words—the beauty of words—to evoke meanings or emotions outside the dictionary definitions of those words.
Syllables are units of pronunciation making up a word. Stressed syllables are long syllables. Unstressed syllables are short syllables.
Meter is the exact arrangement of syllables into repeated patterns in a given line of a poem. The syllables are both stressed and unstressed. Each group of stressed and unstressed syllables is known as a "foot."
Stanzas are lines in a poem which are separated from each other by spacing.
A couplet is a stanza comprised of two lines.
There are at least four dozen forms or types of poetry. These forms are based upon syllable count, meter, stanza and line count, rhyming scheme, or theme and a cutting word.
I will be discussing some of those forms in this article—in particular, those that deal with syllable count and stanza and line count.
A chōka—long poem—is a form of Japanese poetry consisting of a minimum of seven non-rhyming lines with specific syllable counts. The most basic chōka has three couplets with syllable counts of five and seven syllables, plus an additional line with a syllable count of seven.
The pattern for a seven line chōka is 5 - 7 - 5 - 7 - 5 - 7 - 7.
A cinquain is a five-line non-rhyming poem with a set pattern of 22 syllables—2, 4, 6, 8, and 2 syllables per line.
A reverse cinquain has a syllable pattern of 2, 8, 6, 4, and 2 syllables per line.
A mirror cinquain has two stanzas, with the following syllable pattern:
2, 4, 6, 8, 2
2, 8, 6, 4, 2
A butterfly cinquain has the pattern 2, 4, 6, 8, 2, 8, 6, 4, 2.
A clerihew is a poetic form about a celebrity. The celebrity’s name is the title of this humorous type of poem, and the person is named in the first line. A clerihew has four lines, which are usually of an irregular length. Lines one and two rhyme, and lines three and four rhyme.
A diminished hexaverse is a six-line one-stanza non-rhyming poem. The first line has six syllables, the second line has five syllables, the third line has four, the fourth line has three, the fifth line has two syllables, and the sixth line has just one syllable.
An epulaeryu is a 33-syllable seven-line poem describing or featuring a culinary treat about which the poet is fond. The name of this poetic form comes from the Latin word “epulae”—feast—and the Japanese word “ryu”—style.
There are seven syllables in the first line of an epulaeryu, five syllables in the second line, seven in the third, five in the fourth, five in the fifth, three in the sixth, and one in the seventh. The single word on the last line is followed by an exclamation point—!
The pattern for an epulaeryu looks like this:
7 – 5 – 7 – 5 – 5 – 3 – 1!
An etheree is a 10-line unrhymed poem. The first line has one syllable, the second line two... a syllable is added to each succeeding line, with the 10th line having 10 syllables.
In a double etheree, a second stanza is added. Line 11 has 10 syllables, line 12 has nine...line 20 has one syllable.
Fibonacci poetry is based upon a mathematical sequence popularized by Leonardo Fibonacci, a 12th century mathematician. A Fibonacci sequence begins with 0 and 1. Each succeeding number is the sum of the previous two numbers.
The first 13 numbers in a Fibonacci sequence are 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, and 144. In a Fibonacci poem, the zero is dropped, and usually only the first six numbers following the 0 are used.
In a six-line Fibonacci poem, the first line has one syllable, the second line has one syllable, the third line has two, the fourth line has three, the fifth line has five, and the sixth line has eight.
The example I originally provided in this article had six lines. I revised my poem and added a seventh line containing 13 syllables. The seven lines follow this syllable pattern:
1 - 1 - 2 - 3 - 5 - 8 - 13
A haiku is a non-rhyming three-line 17-syllable poem, traditionally about the seasons or nature. The first line has five syllables, the second line has seven syllables, and the third line has five syllables. More information about haiku—the word should not have any uppercase H, except at the beginning of a sentence or in a title, and the singular and plural form of the word is the same—can be found in my article How to Write a Haiku about Nature.
A haiga is a haiku combined with an image—in modern haiga, the image is frequently a photograph. More information about haiga—including the history of this very artistic form of poetry—can be found in a beautiful article by Mohan Kumar (Docmo), Haiga: Haiku with Imagery.
A senryu is a non-rhyming three-line 17-syllable poem, very similar to a haiku. The difference between a haiku and a senryu is that a senryu is about human foibles or characteristics of life and a haiku is traditionally about the seasons or nature. The first line of a senryu has five syllables, the second line has seven syllables, and the third line has five syllables.
A musette is a nine-line 24-syllable rhyming poem. There are three stanzas with three lines. The first and third lines of each stanza are two syllables each. They only rhyme with each other.The second line of each stanza is four syllables. This line doesn't rhyme at all.
The rhyming pattern of a musette is as follows:
a - b - a ... c - d - c ... e - f - e
A rictameter is a nine-line single-stanza 50-syllable unrhyming poem. The first and last lines must use the same two-syllable word.
The syllable pattern is as follows:
2 - 4 - 6 - 8 - 10 - 8 - 6 - 4 - 2
A sestina is a very structured poem consisting of six six-line stanzas followed by one three-line stanza, for a total of 39 lines. The final word in each line of the first stanza must appear in a specific—and different—order in each of the other stanzas.
The pattern of use for the last word is as follows:
Stanza #1: 1 2 3 4 5 6
Stanza #2: 6 1 5 2 4 3
Stanza #3: 3 6 4 1 2 5
Stanza #4: 5 3 2 6 1 4
Stanza #5: 4 5 1 3 6 2
Stanza #6: 2 4 6 5 3 1
Stanza #7 (three lines): 6 2, 1 4, 5 3
The tanka originated in ancient Japan. A haiku (5 - 7 - 5 syllables) was sent by messenger, and a two-line reply—7 syllables each line—was added for the return message.
A tanka can be written in either one or two stanzas.
The syllable format for one stanza is 5 - 7 - 5 - 7 - 7.
The syllable format for two stanzas is 5 - 7 - 5 ... 7 - 7
A trilinea is an unrhymed 16-syllable three-line poem. The word "rose" or "roses" must be used in the poem—as a flower, color, action, or person's name.
The syllable pattern for a trilinea is 4 - 8 - 4.
A tritina is a 10-line poem consisting of three three-line stanzas and a single line.
The three words that end each of the lines of the first stanza of the tritina are repeated in a different order at the end of lines in each of the subsequent two stanzas.
The word that is at the end of the lines in the first stanza is repeated at the ends of the lines in the other two stanzas, but in a different order. The first line in the second and third stanzas ends with the same word that is at the end of the line in the stanza before it. All three words are used in the final—10th—line.
Deborah Neyens provides additional information about the tritina form of poetry in her article Breathe - A Tritina Poem.
My article was mentioned in the April 23, 2014 issue of the HubPages Weekly:
Doin' It Right
These are a few examples of Hubs that mesh creative and informative styles particularly well:
Poetry Forms by Daisy Mariposa
Why it's great: We absolutely love the way she incorporates her own poems as examples of the different types of poetry. They enhance the reader's experience and reinforce the information she's teaching.
More by this Author
This article discusses poetry not based upon the Japanese or English languages. I hope you will write poetry using the poetic forms described in my articles. I hope you will write poetry.
I hope that as a result of reading this article, more poets will be encouraged to try forms of poetry which are new to them, and more readers will write their first poem.
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