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Form & Genre Lists
+ a few links to poems at other locations

Poems in MAP are italicized. 
Poems on line are linked.
All others with page numbers are in the Norton

Quick Reference to Forms


Page One:   Sonnet  /  Blank verse / Heroic couplet / Hexameter Couplet  /  Short couplet

Page Two: 4x4 forms:   Ballad  /  Common Measure  /  Hymnal  / 

Page Three:  Tetrameter  /  Trimeter & Dimeter  /  Triple meters

Page Four:  Heroic quatrain / envelope quatrain / Other quatrains  / 

Page Six:   Tercets & Triplets  /  Quintets  /  Sestets  /  Septets  /  Octaves  /  Spenserian stanza  / Other stanza forms

Page Seven:   Sestina  /  Villanelle

Page Eight:  Strong-stress & Accentual  /  Syllabics  /  Free verse roots

Page Nine:  Genres (or kinds):  Aubade  /  Epigram  /  Epistle  /  Ars Poetica  /  Nocturne

Page Ten:  Elegy  /  Elegy for a Child  /  Farewell to a Husband  /  Mother's Legacy

Page Eleven:   Carpe Diem  /  Pastoral Elegy  /  Retreat Poem  /  Pastoral

Page Twelve:  Satire  /  Parody & Reply  /  Woman's Complaint  /  Defense of Women


Page Nine:   Pastoral  /  Aubade  / 

Page Ten:   Elegy  /  Elegy for a child  / Farewell to a husband  /  Mother's legacy  / 

Page Eleven:  Satire

Page Twelve:  Ode

Quick Refenrence:

Heroic Line: iambic pentameter

Alexandrine: iambic hexameter

Fourteener: iambic septameter, generally a couplet aa –see common measure 

Couplet: any two-line unit

short couplet: iambic tetrameter aa
heroic couplet: iambic pentameter aa 
split or uneven couplet: lines of different lengths: aa 
open couplet: first line runs on, second end-stopped aa 
closed couplet: both lines end-stopped aa
Tercet: any three-line unit
triplet: three lines with a single rhyme aaa
blues stanza: a triplet with 1st line repeated and third rhyming: AAa BBb
terza rima: a series of tercets with interlocking lines: aba bcb cdc
haiku: Japanese: syllabic triplet with 5/7/5 syllables per line 
Quatrain: any four-line unit
4x4: Derek Attridge's term for quatrains built on variations of the 4-beat line, including:
ballad stanza: accentual, alternating four-beat & three beat xaxa
common measure: iambic, alternating tetrameter & trimeter xaxa
hymnal stanza: same as common measure, but rhymes abab (many variations)
heroic quatrain (or stanza): iambic pentameter abab

envelope quatrain: abba

Italian q.: envelope q. in iambic pentameter
“In Memoriam q.”: envelope q. in iambic tetrameter
couplet quatrain: aabb

pantoum: Malayan: a set form in quatrains with interlocking refrains and rhymes

Quintet: any five-line unit
English quintet: ababb
Tanka: Japanese: syllabic, 5/7/5/77
Sestet: any six-line unit
heroic: iambic pentameter, ababcc or abbacc
Italian: iambic pentameter, abcabc
Sicilian: iambic pentameter, ababab
Burns Stanza: three lines iambic tetrameter, then a dimeter, a tetrameter, and 
     a final dimeter, rhymed aaabab
Septet: any seven-line unit
Rime Royal: iambic pentameter: ababbcc (sometimes ababccc)
Octave: any eight-line unit
Ottava Rima: iambic pentameter, abababcc
Nine-line stanzas:
Spenserian stanza: 8 lines iambic pentameter, last line an Alexandrine
Ten-line stanzas:
English ode stanza: ababcdecde 
Italian or Petrarchan: octave & sestet: abbaabba cdecde (or cdcdcd)
English or Shakespearean: three quatrains & couplet: ababcdcdefef gg
Spenserian: three interlocking quatrains & couplet: abab bcbc cdcd ee
Miltonic: Italian sonnet w/ the turn in middle of line, usually the 9th
Curtal: Hopkins: 11-line form: sestet, quatrain, & the last line a single
      spondee: abbacy dbcd c (considered a sonnet only because Hopkins said so)
Blues: four blues triplets & couplet: AAa BBb CCc DDd ee
Ballade: French: 2 octaves & a quatrain, turning on 3 rhymes (see Chaucer’s “Complaint to His Purse”)

Villanelle: 19 lines: 5 triplets & quatrain, with two rhymes & two refrains

Sestina: 39 lines: 6 sestets & tercet: with six end-words repeated in fixed sequence and all 6 words appearing in the tercet, 2 per line

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