Syllable-Counting Forms

These are verse forms which don't rely on rhyme or metre, but simply stipulate the number of syllables to each line (or, in some cases, each word). The best-known of these are Japanese forms such as the haiku and tanka (which arguably work a great deal better in their native tongue than in English). In recent years there have been several attempts at introducing new syllable-counting forms, such as the tetractys, directly into English. None of these has been notably successful, with the inexplicable exception of the cinquain, which appears to be quite popular in the USA (and perhaps nowhere else). 

    Cinquain * Haibun * Haiga * Haikai * Haiku * Nonet * puSlogh vagh * Rhopalics * Rictameter * Senryu * Tetractys * Wayra

There are also some forms, mainly eastern, that use both syllable counting and rhyme. These include:

Englyn * Luc Bat * Pathya Vat * Song That Luc Bat * Than-Bauk 

Bob Newman 2004, 2005. All rights reserved.

This page last updated 10/07/2005