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Types of Poetry

Poetry wears many coats, ranging from inspirational hymns and greeting card messages to Shakespearean sonnets and the less-formal shades of free verse. The one thing these different types/styles of poetry share is an attempt to convey a message/meaning/feeling through an acute attention to language.

When dissecting poetry into types, the question looms in my mind, "Where to begin?" The sonnet is a type of poetry, but so is lesbian poetry. And lesbian poetry can be written in sonnets (such as Marilyn Hacker), free verse, or a combination of forms. The attempt to easily label and distinguish a "type" of poetry is too immense a project for one person.

Suffice it say, poetry's net is cast wide and open-attracting a diverse catch. When cowboys from the midwest (dubbed Cowboy Poets) and Gen-X'ers (who hold competitions called Poetry Slams) make the evening news for their contribution to the craft of poetry, it only shows that poetry is far from dead.

Several types of poetry have been broken down in Poetry Previews' web site under the two headings: General Information and Categories & Schools of Poetry. Check them out. Have I left out some types, schools, or definitions you would like to see? Send a note to me.

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