In-FORM-ation – My List of Poetry Forms

Forms U -Z


The Ukiah is frequently referred to as the Reverse Haiku. Where a tradition Haiku is a poem of 3 unrhymed lines, with a 5/7/5 syllable count. An Ukiah is the reverse with a rhyming 7/5/7 syllable count.


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A villanelle is a poetic form composed of nineteen lines. These are arranged as five tercets (three-line stanzas) followed by a quatrain (four-line stanza).

There is no established meter to the villanelle – modern villanelles tend to pentameter, while early villanelles used trimeter or tetrameter.

The most striking thing about a villanelle is that it has two refrains (“A1” and “A2”) and two repeating rhymes (“a” and “b”). The first and third line of the opening tercet are repeated alternately as the refrains, until the last stanza, which includes both refrains.

With this, the pattern of the villanelle can be illustrated as as


where “a” and “b” are the two rhymes, and the upper case letters (“A1” and “A2”) indicate the refrains.

Example: Psyche’s Lament

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A Villonnet is a hybrid of the Villanelle and the Sonnet. The final stanza replaces the sonnet couplet with a typical
villanelle tercet.

The structure is as follows. From the examples given, it does not appear that the interior lines (2 and 3) of each stanza have to rhyme. The poem is in iambic pentameter.

Line 1 – “A” rhyme
Line 2 – unrhymed
Line 3 – unrhymed
Line 4 – “A” rhyme again

Line 5 – “A” rhyme
Line 6 – unrhymed
Line 7 – unrhymed
Line 8 – repeat “Line 1” exactly

Line 9 – “A” rhyme
Line 10 – unrhymed
Line 11 – unrhymed
Line 12 – repeat “Line 4” exactly

Line 13 – repeat “Line 1” again
Line 14 – unrhymed
Line 15 – repeat “Line 4” again

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This form asks for a one-stanza titled poem, with nineteen lines; each line has a set number of syllables. Pattern: 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1, 2, 1. Words may be split into syllables to fit the pattern. This form seems to educe a soothing cadence as the lines gently increase and decrease, so it is suggested that topic chosen for this form also be soothing.

Example: It Is You

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The Weave, is a form invented by David James,. It can be written in two line stanzas, five line stanzas, or no separate stanzas at all.

• Its rhyme scheme follows this pattern: abcad befbg ehiej (and so on).
• The first and fourth lines rhyme, and the second line rhyme from the first stanza becomes the rhyme for the first and fourth lines in the following stanza.
• So, the second line from stanza one weaves into stanza two; the second
line from stanza two weaves into stanza three.
• This form has no definitive number of lines.

Example: Like Jazz On A Snowy Eve

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A Zeno poem is a poem of ten lines with the syllable count: 8/4/2/1/4/2/1/4/2/1 and a rhyme scheme of a/b/c/d/e/f/d/g/h/d.

Example: Moshing

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3 thoughts on “In-FORM-ation – My List of Poetry Forms

  1. I was just reading something else when I noticed this link and had to come and investigate. I have made an attempt or two at Lukes Octains, but thats it from this list. Now I guess I am just going to have to try some of the others out, just to satisfy my own curiosity.

So? What do you think?

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