Poetry Styles for the Bad Poetry Day Contest

Bad Poetry Day

Click pic for contest guidelines and prizes!

I try to write a

very bad haiku as a

bad poem sample




My fellow poet Oz and I are co-hosting the Bad Poetry Day Contest to celebrate Bad Poetry Day on August 18th. Entries will be accepted this coming weekend beginning on Friday. Click the pic to learn more about the guidelines and prizes!

Today I will go over some common poetry styles to help you all out on your quest to be the worst poet! There are so many styles, so here is a good sampling for those who are not well versed (wooohoooo! a pun!) in poetry:

Limerick: This is the great Oz’ expertise. A five line humorous, often nonsensical, poem that has the rhyme scheme of a-a-b-b-a (that is lines 1,2, & 5 rhyme and lines 3 & 4 rhyme).

Haiku: My expertise! A three line poem, with the syllables for each line = 5-7-5. A modern style of haiku is less strict and just requires 17 syllables or less. Usually the last line has a “cut” or switch of subject and traditionally they are written about nature (though not required).

Tanka: Similar to haiku, but five lines with syllables of: 5-7-5-7-7, often the last two lines have a shift in tone/feel.

Sonnets: A 14 line poem often on the topic of love. It follows the rhyme scheme of a-b-a-b… or like Shakespeare: a-b-a-b-c-d-c-d-e-f-e-f-g-g. Sonnets are also usually written in iambic pentameter meter/rhythm: soft-hard-soft-hard. Since this is a bad poetry contest, don’t worry about meter too much if you are not familiar. 🙂

Free Form: Free form poetry gives you the freedom to rhyme, or not, have a meter/rhythm, or not, choose the number of lines, and the subject. Be creative!

Other Broader Styles:

Narratives, Epic Poetry, Ballads: These are much longer usually, and tell a whole story.

Odes: Poetry usually of a serious subject matter.

Lyric: More personal and light subject matter.

Satirical Poetry: Satire.

I look forward to hearing Mama read all your bad poems to me! Good luck and have fun composing! Woooowoooooooo!