Poetry is one of the best ways to express feelings and emotions, especially if you are like me and cannot even draw a round circle. There are a variety of poetic forms from a limitless free verse to a strict, syllable counting Haiku. My three favorite forms are the new Fibonacci, Haiku and the Terza Rima.
1. The Fibonacci is a mathematical form based on the Fibonacci number sequence. The sequence begins 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 and continues by adding the two preceding numbers, so 21+13=34. According to about.com, “The Fibonacci sequence appears often in nature as the underlying form of growing patterns. For example, conch shells and sunflowers follow the pattern as they grow in a spiral formation that increases as it moves outward.” In terms of the poetry form, the numbers identify how many syllables or words will be in each line. The first two lines will have one syllable or word each, the next will have two, then three, then five and so on.
A wonderful example of this poem, “In Cliché” by Georgia Luna Smith Faust can be found here. Instead of going to 34 syllables after 21, she begins back at one. As with any poetry form, you can take artistic license and make it your own.
2. Haiku is one of the strictest forms of poetry and requires the poet to convey a message in three lines, the first line with five syllables, the second with seven and the last with five for a total of seventeen syllables. It does not rhyme; its purpose is to paint an image in the reader’s mind using a condensed amount of words. This is my favorite form of poetry because it is challenging trying to convey a message and image in such a tight form and rewarding when that picture is painted successfully. Here is an example of Haiku by yours truly:
Slowly she turns ’round
Never looking back, she wipes
A lone tear away.
3. The Terza Rima form is written in tercets, three-lined stanzas, and according to about.com, are “linked by end-rhymes patterned aba, bcb, cdc, ded, efe, etc. There is no specified number of stanzas in the form, but poems written in terza rima usually end with a single line or a couplet rhyming with the middle line of the last tercet.” It has been around for over 700 years and is a fairly popular form even though the name is not well known.
An example of Terza Rima written by Robert Frost, “Acquainted with the Night”, can be found here.
With National Poetry Month coming up, you can use this newfound knowledge to experiment with different forms of poetry. Happy writing!
About.com Poetic Forms