Recommended forms

This is a short list of forms that I have particularly enjoyed writing. Perhaps you would like to give them a try too.

The villanelle is, in my opinion, the form that gives you the best chance of producing a worthwhile poem at the first attempt.

The sestina looks horribly complicated, but is actually quite easy to write. You don't even have to think of any rhymes.

Other traditional European forms that are well worth a go are the ballade family and the unjustly-neglected rondeau.

The rubai, from Persia, is another favourite. And the only syllable-counting forms that I would consider worthy of your attention are Japanese ones such as the haiku.

Among the more obscure forms found on this site, please take a look at the luc bat from Viet Nam, and a western form derived from it, the song that luc bat sonnet; also the romantic stanza from Belarus.

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Bob Newman 2005. All rights reserved.

This page last updated 13/07/2005