What is a VILLANELLE?
A Villanelle is a highly structured nineteen-line poem employing two repeating rhymes and two refrains. The form is made up of five tercets followed by a quatrain. The first and third lines of the opening tercet are repeated alternately as the last lines of the succeeding stanzas; then in the final stanza, the refrains serve as the two concluding lines. Using capitals for the refrains and lowercase letters for the rhymes, the form’s outline would be expressed like this: A1 b A2 / a b A1 / a b A2 /
a b A1 / a b A2 / a b A1 A2. All the A’s must rhyme (whether capital or small), all the B’s must rhyme. I meant it when I said it was exacting!
What is a GHAZAL?
The Ghazal (pronounced “guzzle”) is an Arabic poetry form composed of a minimum of five couplets, typically no more than fifteen, that are structurally, thematically and emotionally autonomous. Traditionally, these invoke love, longing, melancholy or metaphysical questions. Each line of the poem must be of the same length, although meter is not imposed in English. The first couplet introduces the scheme, made up of a rhyme followed by a refrain. Subsequent couplets pick up the same scheme in the second line only, repeating the refrain and rhyming the second line with both lines of the first stanza. The last couplet often includes the poet’s signature, by referring to the author in the first or third person and/or including the poet’s own name or a derivation of its meaning.
What is a KYRIELLE?
A Kyrielle is a poem comprised of two or more quatrains that follow a rhyme scheme (aabb, abab, aaab, abcb, etc). Each line contains eight syllables. The final line of each quatrain is, in whole or part, a refrain.
What is a BLITZ poem?
A Blitz is a fifty-line poem comprised of connected phrases and images:
Line 1 is a short phrase or image (like “build a boat”)
Line 2 is another short phrase or image using the same first word as the first word in Line 1 (for example “build a house”)
Lines 3 and 4 are short phrases or images that use the last word of Line 2 as their first word (so Line 3 might be “house for sale” and Line 4 might be “house for rent”)
Lines 5 and 6 are short phrases or images that use the last word of Line 4 as their first word, and so on until you’ve made it through 48 lines
Line 49 is the last word of Line 48
Line 50 is the last word of Line 47
The title of the poem is three words long and follows this format: (first word of Line 3) (preposition or conjunction) (first word of line 47)
No punctuation is used
What is an ACROSTIC poem?
An acrostic poem is a poetic form in which the first, last, or other letters in a line spell out a particular word or phrase. The most common and simplest form of an acrostic poem uses the first letters of each line to spell out the word or phrase.
What is a SESTINA?
A disciplined poetry form, usually written in iambic pentameter, made up of six stanzas of six lines and a final triplet, all stanzas having the same six words at the line-ends in six different sequences that follow a fixed pattern; all six words also appear in the closing three-line envoi.