Poetic Forms: the Sonnet

DP #38: Laughter

Free write for five minutes about what makes you laugh.


Today, you’re going to try your hand at writing a sonnet, arguably the most popular form of poetry in the world.  There are several types, but we’re going to focus on the ever-popular Shakespearean sonnet.

Here’s a handout to help guide you through the process. Take the rest of the hour to try writing one.


Happy writing!




Poetic Forms: Terza Rima and Cinquains

Daily Prompt #37: Terza Rima

Terza Rima is a poetic rhyme structure used by the famous poet, Dante Alighieri.  Terza stands for “three” which means every stanza is comprised of three lines.  The key is that the stanzas created are interlocked by their rhyme pattern.

aba bcb cdc ded efe

Take ten minutes and try crafting a few lines using this format.  If you enjoy it, use class time today to craft a well-polished piece.

Today, you’re going to try your hand at writing a cinquain.  Can you guess how many lines it is?

Here’s the format:

5 lines

Most common rhyme schemes: ababb, abaab or abccb.

Pretty straightforward, and you can play around with the rhyme scheme.  Take, for example, Edgar Allen Poe’s cinquain, “To Helen:”

Helen, thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicean barks of yore,
That gently, o’er a perfumed sea,
The weary, way-worn wanderer bore
To his own native shore.

Here’s one I wrote.

As always, have fun writing!


Limericks and a Crash Course in rhythm, meter, and rhyme

DP #35: Catharsis

You’re back from the weekend. Take five minutes to write about how you spent it!  🙂

This week’s focus in on highly structured poetry.  To help you write one, we’re going to discuss how rhythm, meter, and rhyme affect a poem.

Now, try your hand at writing a highly structured poem called a limerick.

The general structure is this:

5 lines (1st, 2nd, and 5th are longer, 3rd and 4th are shorter)

Rhythm: anapestic

Ryhme Scheme: aabba

Often humorous and bawdy (but don’t have to be)

Here’s one I wrote.

It’s not easy.  Take a stab at it.  If you like it, post it on your blog!



Poetry: Oulipo and Concrete

DP #34: Oulipo Poems

I want you to try your hand at writing a oulipo poem. These are some of my favorite forms. Here’s how you do it: you start with a line that is one word long, then you write a line that is two words long, then you write a line that is three words long, and so on. The poem can be as long as you like. Here are some I’ve written.

Play around for fifteen minutes.

Use the remainder of the hour to write what is called a concrete poem. It’s a poem whose visual structure represents the content in some way. Here are some examples.   You may create one in your notebook or use plain paper.

As always, happy writing!

Free Verse Poetry

DP #33: Poetic Emotions

Write down an emotion – any at all – at the top of your page. This will serve as the title for a poem you’re now going to write.

Don’t overthink it.  Just write all the ways you can think of to represent this emotion. Consider figurative and concrete language as you write. This doesn’t have to rhyme or have any specific structure. You can consider it a free write if that helps.

Write for ten minutes.


Today, we’re going to talk about a very popular form of poetry: free verse. What is free verse?

Free verse is one of my favorite forms. Here are several I’ve written on my own blog to give you an idea of how open-ended (and freeing) this style of poetry can be.

For practice, you’re going to model a free verse poem after a very famous modern poem titled, “The Red Wheelbarrow.”

Let’s chat about it.

Here’s my free verse poem inspired by it: “So Much”

Let’s chat some more. I’ll share with you my inspiration behind it so you can see how much meaning can lie beneath a poem’s surface.

Now, it’s time for you to write your own poem inspired by “The Red Wheelbarrow.”

Go for it!  Hopefully, some of you will share and even post it on your blog. If you do, please share a link to it in the comments on today’s post.