Current Version 3.0. Last updated 2017/02/06

Most of our "poetry" follows some sort of form. Some does not. Here are some explanations of the forms of poetry used here (and how we have reinterpreted or mashed up normal forms to suit our needs).  Special thanks to Amanda B Garvin of Northeast Mississippi Community College for some clarifications of forms and additional poetry type descriptions.

Version 1.0 of this guide guide is available as a mini book for free at poemasabix.weebly.com (that's for Poemasabi Extras) in the download section. A link to the instructions for folding is there as well.

Acrostic uses the first letters from a word as the first letters of each line of the poem.
Super inputMachine really.Although it's coolReally spectacular things happen when it'sTaught smart thingsBy an enthusiastic teacherOr other creative educatorAnd or engaged studentRevolutionary thinkingDevelops

Chōka A Japanese form consisting of two line 5-7 syllable count "units" that repeat a minimum of two times. The poem is punctuated by a final 5-7-7 unit. 
More at http://everything.explained.at/Tanka_(poetry)/

Cinquain was invented by American poet Adelaide Crapsey in 1915 and has grown into several forms the first being introduced to me by a teacher in my school. This is the word count form where the poem is comprised by five lines with;

1.      2-4-6-8-2 words per line.
2.      Another form uses 2-4-6-8-2 syllables
3.      Reverse Cinguain is a five lines of 2-8-6-4-2 syllables
4.      Mirror Cinquain is two five line stanzas, one regular standard syllable count Cinquain followed by a mirror Cinquain.
5.      A third form uses noun-two adjectives-three "ing" words-a phrase-different noun for first noun format.
6.      A variation of #5 is 2 noun syllables, 4 adjective syllables, 6 verb syllables, 8 syllables, 2 synonym syllables for the first noun.
7.      Another form is the Butterfly Cinquain which is 9 lines syllabic form 2-4-6-8-2-8-6-4-2
8.      A new version, we think we might have created it but are not sure, uses letter counts, 2,4,6,8,2 and is called a Chaycheck Cinquain
9.      Crown Cinquain which is five standard Cinquains together which make a larger poem.
10.  Garland Cinquain which is six stanzas with the sixth being made up of lines from the previous five. 1st line is from the 1st cinquain, the 2nd line is from the second 2nd cinquain etc.

Diamante is a seven-lined contrast poem set up in a diamond shape.  
The first line begins with a noun/subject. 
The second line contains two adjectives that describe the beginning noun.  
The third line contains three words ending in -ing relating to the noun/subject.  
The forth line contains two words that describe the noun/subject and two that describe the closing synonym/antonym.  If using an antonym for the ending, this is where the shift should occur.  
In the fifth line are three more -ing words describing the ending antonym/synonym, and 
The sixth are two more adjectives describing the ending antonym/synonym.  
The last line ends with the first noun's antonym or synonym.

Dodoitsu is another Japanese form from the end of the Edo period. Some references state that the form is generally about love or work although some say that the form can also be used with nature as the subject too. There are also a few articles that state that Dodoitsu is usually comical. Which ever path you choose, the poem is four lines with a 7-7-7-5 syllable count.

Free Verse  as in free of any kind of rules on patterns and structure.

Haiku is one of my favorites. Japanese, I follow the traditional westernized form of 5-7-5 syllables. Usually about nature with some metaphor for a season. I have been experimenting with another form which is both new to me and really old too. It is a one breath Haiku which follows more closely the traditional Japanese form. It's still 13-17 syllables with a turning word or point and seasonal references about nature but it is written in one line and is meant to be spoken in one breath.

Gogyōka a five line poem with no syllable counts. Created in 1950, Gogyōka has no rules about what has to be about. The lines are written so that the reader can take a breath at the end of each line.

Katauta is an unrhymed three-line poem the following syllable counts: 5/7/7.

Kyoka is to Tanka what Senryu is to Haiku. It is a humorous and satirical form of Tanka following the same pattern as Tanka but focusing on a satirical look at human behavior.

Limerick is a rhymed humorous or nonsense poem of five lines which originated in Limerick, Ireland. The Limerick has a set rhyme scheme of : a-a-b-b-a with a syllable structure of: 9-9-6-6-9

List Poem is what it is, a listing of descriptive terms on a specific subject, usually the title one.

Luc Bat is a Vietnamese form with a complicated set of structural rules. It is, on the face of it, a 6-8 alternating line poem, that is 6-8-6-8-6-8 etc. All information that I have so far is from Robert Lee Brewer's excellent list of poem forms on www.writersdigest.com. So yes, it is a 6-8 poem but wait, there's more. it is also a rhyming poem with an A-AB-B-BC-C-CD-D-DE etc pattern. Using "1" for each syllable, the poem looks like this:
  • 1-1-1-1-1-A
  • 1-1-1-1-1-A-1-B
  • 1-1-1-1-1-B
  • 1-1-1-1-1-B-1-C
  • 1-1-1-1-1-C
  • 1-1-1-1-1-C-1-D
  • etc
Lune is an "American Haiku" form of which there are two forms. All information that I have so far is from Robert Lee Brewer's excellent list of poem forms on www.writersdigest.com. The Kelly Lune by Robert Kelly is a 5-3-5 syllable count poem. The Collom form by Jack Collom is a word count version that follows a 3-5-3 words per line rule.

Monorhyme is a poem in which all the lines have the same end rhyme.

Naani is one of India's most popular Telugu poems. Naani means an expression of one and all. It consists of 4 lines, the total lines consists of 20 to 25 syllables. The poem is not bounded to a particular subject. Generally it depends upon human relations and current statements.

Quinzaine come from the French word qunize, meaning fifteen. A quinzaine is an unrhymed verse of fifteen syllables. These syllables are distributed among three lines so that there are seven syllables in the first line, five in the second line and three in the third line (7/5/3). The first line makes a statement. The next two lines ask a question relating to that statement.

Sedoka is an unrhymed poem made up of two three-line katauta with the following syllable counts: 5/7/7, 5/7/7. A Sedoka, pair of katauta as a single poem, may address the same subject from differing perspectives.

Senryu is another Japanese form like Haiku. For us it’s 3-3-3 syllables following examples translated from the original Japanese . I have also seen it done as an unrhymed Japanese verse consisting of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables (5, 7, 5) or 17 syllables in all. Senryu is usually written in the present tense and only references to some aspect of human nature or emotions. They possess no references to the natural world and thus stand out from nature/seasonal haiku.
More at http://everything.explained.at/Tanka_(poetry)/

Sijo is a Korean form and very new to me. From what I have been able to find it is written in three lines of between 14 and 16 syllables. Each line is subdivided into four sections of between three and six syllables. Each section needs to function on its own but must also work with the other sections in the line. The first line starts an idea, the second line further defines that idea and the third continues the thought but with a twist. Subjects, traditionally anyway, seem to be about nature and in that shares a poetic DNA with Haiku.

Tanka is a new one for me. It is also Japanese but follows a 5-7-5 7-7 pattern. Like Haiku it seems to be, in the traditional sense anyway, nature/seasonal focused. There are other rules too but, hey, I am new at this.
More at http://everything.explained.at/Tanka_(poetry)/