1. Lyrical Poetry
sonnets: a lyrical poem of fourteen lines>
Ode: this is an elaborate lyric, expressing exalted enthusiastic emotion, expressed in a
language that is imaginative, dignified and sincere.
Elegy: this is a lyric poem about death and serious subjective poetic meditations. The language is dignified, and the mood is sad. Classic elegies were couplets in dactylic
hexameters and pentameters.
Song: a lyric poem intended for singing accompanied by music. They are usually short, simple and emotional.
Hymn: a lyric poem expressing religious feelings, and intended to be sung by a chorus.
2. Dramatic Poetry
Comedy: a form of drama that is intended to amuse, and that ends happily. Old. comedies were inverse.
Tragedy: a serious play
in which the hero engages in a conflict,
experiences great suffering, and is defeated in the end.
C= Masque: this was a
play and dance with masked actors.
Monologue: an oral or
written composition in which only one person speaks.
3. Narrative Poetry
Ballad: short tales in verse, intended for singing or recitation, and representing a dramatic it is one of the earliest folklore poetry to develop.
Epic: a long narrative poem presenting heroic characters who take part in a series of adventures, over an extended period of time. The story is presented in dignified and majestic
language. Hommer’s Iliad and Odyssey are outstanding examples.
Romance: a factitious story about knights, their ladies and adventures. In modern usage a love or adventure story is called a romance.
4. Didactic Poetry
Allegory: poetry or prose in which the characters, events or objects are represented symbolically, so that the story coveys a meaning deeper than the actual incident or
Satire: verse or prose blending a critical attitude with wit and humour. The purpose of satire is to ridicule frailties in persons, customs or institutions, and by causing
laughter, inspire the desire for correction.
5. Descriptive Poetry
Pastoral: poetry dealing with a golden age in which the main characters are idealized and shepherdesses.
Eclogue: consists of dialogues between pastoral shepherds.
Idyll: smooth and idealized description of rural or domestic life,
6. Humorous Poetry
Burlesque: poetry which ridicules serious ideas or things.
Mock-epic: this literary form makes fun of epics by treating trivial subjects in a pompous
Parody: poetry which imitates the style of another poet with the intent to poke fun at it.
7. Low Poetry
Macaronic Verses: a mixture of two languages made for fun.
Doggerel: any poorly executed verse.
Flyting: this is versified abuse, usually in a quarrel in poetry between poets.