To Determine Types of Poem in Literature consider the Following:

Definition of Poem & Nine Types of Poem

To Determine Types of Poem in Literature consider the Following:

The Definition of Poem has been defined by many scholars in different ways. But to know the exact nature of a poem to help in its definition while whipping up the interest of individuals who are so into literature I will define a poem as an imaginative piece that expresses feelings and emotions usually written in stanzas and in verses to express or convey an idea in a compressed manner.


a poem is an imaginative piece that expresses feelings and emotions usually written in stanzas and in verses to express or convey an idea in a compressed manner.

There are types of Poem in literature that could help in guiding an individual to write a poem to meet a particular style. In writing a Poem consider the following nine types of Poem and the examples I have written.


1) BALLAD: A Ballad is usually a narrative poem. Any ballad is of historical events to fairy tales in verse form. It is usually with foreshortened alternating four- and three-stress lines (‘ballad meter’) and simple repeating rhymes, and often with a refrain.

Ballad is often a poetic adventure love story. Example is an extract from the poem MY LOVE POTION by the Author (Joyceline Natally Cudjoe).

At the middle around the ocean

I was reading the love in his purple emotion

There a heavy storm arose

Thought I could pamper him all night with my l0ve and a rose

His holy kissés and godly lips had me more fascinated

But his captainship, love and life was assassinated

2) ELEGY: This is a type of poem composed in mournful verses or stanzas that expresses sorrow or lamentation, usually for a déad person or of reminiscence of the past.

A sung elegy is called a DIRGE, most elegies are written in a formal style. Example; an extract from the poem “BEAUTIFUL TORMENTOR” by the author.

Oh! If he could arrive there with lòve’s light wings

The tongue that was gladdened by his saliva at night

Would have resurrected,

And eyes that pierce his heart during the day

She made him believe, she was a paradise in human form

But, alas, he has realised how beautiful tormentor she was

That embraced the cold love of the icy touch of death with joy.

3) EPIC: This is a long narrative poem that tells a heroic deeds, achievements or events about a culture or society that is significant to the poet. Example is Homer’s Odyssey and Milton’s “Paradise Lost”

4) IDYLL: It is a short poem that talks of peaceful pastoral or country scenes, events or episode, or long poems that tell a story about ancient heroes. Example is Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “Ulysses” an extract from the poem.

It little profits that an idle King, By this still hearth, among these barren crags,

Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole

Unequal laws unto a savage race,

That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.

5) ODE: Is a meditative/lyric poem that honors or praise a thing or a person or an event. Example is MY BEAUTIFUL TREASURE, OCEAN etc by the author.

6) PARODY: This is a poem that imitates the style of another poet or poem which aims at making fun of the poet or the poem. Example Lewis Carol’s “The Mad Hatter’s song” is a parody of Jane Taylor’s “The Star”

Twinkle, twinkle, little bat
How I wonder what you are at
Up above the world you fly
Like a tea tray in the sky

THE STAR Twinkle, twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky

Oliver Herford’s “Song” is a parody of Robbert Herrick’s “To The Virgins, To Make Much Of Time”

Gather Kittens while you may,
Time brings only sorrow,
And the kittens of today
Will be Old Cats To-morrow

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying
And this same flower that smiles today,
Tomorrow will be dying

Also Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 130” is a parody of the traditional l0ve poems common in his day. He presents an anti-love poem theme in a manner of a l0ve poem mocking the exaggerated comparisons they made.

“My mistress” eyes are nothing like the sun;

Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;

If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;

If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.

I have seen roses damasked, red and white,

But no such roses see I in her cheeks,”

And some perfumes is there more delight

Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.

I lòve to hear her speak, yet well I know

That music hath a far more pleasing sound;

I grant I never saw a goddess go;

My mistress when she walks treads on the ground:

And yet, by heaven, I think my l0ve as rare

As any she believed with false compare.

Parody add humorous effect to poetry and it makes it more enjoyable and fun to read. It also gives another poet a room to express his or her view about a particular poem.

7) PASTORAL: This is a kind of poem that elevates the life of shepherds or shepherdess from the country side. Example is an extract from green fields by the author.

At the green fields
We will sit all night and day
To watch the unrevealed wings of rosebuds of may
That in its midst the sweetest love yields

There a white shepherd feeds his golden flocks
In the pastures that knew no winter
In that pastures I will search for the l0ve locks
That will lock our heart to give it a good texture

We will nest our l0ve with the modern wool
And listen to the sweet songs the shepherd sing
In that sound we will let go of all hurtful feelings to sink
And keep our cool

At that green fields
Our l0ve will never go cold
But will be forever filled
And we will boast with our lóve as we become bold

8) SATIRE: This is a kind of poem that uses humour, irony, exaggeration or ridicule to criticise or expose vices, stupidity, folly and corruption. Example is Alexander Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock”, in the poem Pope exposes the vanity of young fashionable ladies and gentlemen and frivolity of their actions.

Pope says about Belinda after losing her lock of hair-“Whether the nymph shall break Diana’s law, Or some frail China jar receive a flaw,Or stain her honour or her new brocade.”

9) SONNET: It is a fourteen lines poem or sometimes eleven and is written in iambic pentameter, each lines has 10 syllables with specific rhyme scheme. Generally sonnets are divided into different groups based on the rhyme scheme they follow. The sonnets are categorised into six major types.


Joyceline Natally Cudjoe

An Entertainment Columnist, Content Writer, Blogger, Novelist, Poet, and a Publicist. For business or story tip off, contact me on +233 24 646 6866 or email: [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button