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In my opinion, most poets spend too much time writing poetry and not enough time reading it. Over the years I have found that reading good poetry is a great inspiration and a good poet is the best teacher.

Times, subjects, and styles all change with fashion or mood and with exception of the truly creative poet, we only build on the lessons of the past and mostly only imitate what we admire the most. Experiments are usually only based on previous experiences, good or bad.

Poetry is like a river. Each river is unique, sometimes placid, pleasing to view, even boring at times. In other places it's dirty, mud churning, wild and angry, demanding your full attention. Many different crafts journey on a river, sometimes unsuited, sometimes purpose built.

Similarly if we only use one style, one meter, one form, we limit ourselves and the beauty we try to create, or the message we are trying to deliver.

My aim in creating this site is not to set myself up in competition to all the fine sites that are already in existence; rather it is to complement those sites. My intention is to be a reference source where a poet can come to and find out about specific poetry styles and forms.

Wherever possible I will try to post an example of that form or style. In some cases, I will be using the work of accepted masters and in others I will be using work submitted by myself or by friends as an example of style and form.

I have tried to break down my sites into logical steps to make it more fun and easier to read, the important thing being that everyone understands and enjoys what is said or posted.
Please tell me if what is written seems garbled, or garbage, or incorrect, as I've said before I am here to help not hinder.

If you find this site useful or interesting, or if you have problems please contact me, you are my best proof reader, and it is only because of your comments that we can improve.


Poetry Verse and Form
Autonomous Poetry
Celtic Poetry
Poetry Forms of the Orient
Repeating Forms
Three Line Poetry,
Four Line Poetry,
Five Line Poetry,
Six Line Poetry,
Seven Line Poetry,
Eight Line Poetry,
Nine Line Poetry
Ten Line Poetry,

Poetry Verse and Form

This site introduces the poet to Meter and Form giving examples wherever possible. Ballads, Blank Verse and Odes are dealt with and examples given. Suggestions and contributions are most welcome.

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Autonomous Poetry

This side is divided into two parts. Taken literally, autonomy means "Freedom of action;" normally taken to mean freedom to govern. If we look at it in the context of poetry you will find that this site does not give details about rhyme schemes as the other sites in "The Garret" do, rather Autonomous Poetry is about style and theme. Most poetry is about life and love, and in here is discussed several ideas as to how poetry can be used to express those thoughts and others.
Examples of Aubade are given, and Dark poetry takes a look at the other side, where blackness and evil prevails. Glosa talks about inspiration and expansion and just as night ends day, it closes Part 1 by talking about Nocturnes.
Part 2 talks about what is becoming know as "Mathematical Poetry," where the number of syllables or words are counted and must conform to a mathematical sequence rather than rhyme one.
In here is discussed Cinquain, Rictameter, Diatelle, Etheree and Fibonacci poetry and we will close by discussing poetry that creates shapes and images described by that poem.
The purpose of this site is simply to give the poet and the poetry reader alternatives to think and write about.

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Celtic Poetry

This is an introduction to Bardic poetry and just because the forms are old, do not be mislead into thinking they are simple, in fact some are extremely imaginative and complex forms.
This site has been split into two parts, in Part 1, you will find an introduction to Celtic Poetry and the rest of the site devoted to Irish Poetry Forms.
Part 2 is devoted entirely to the 24 Welsh Poetry Forms.

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Poetry Forms of the Orient

As poets, what do we think of when the Orient is mentioned? Most people would think of Haiku and perhaps Tanka, but after that most would scratch their heads. By definition, the Orient begins East of the Mediterranean and especially includes SE Asia.

With this in mind, this site will be talking about forms such as Rubaiyat, Ghazal, Pantoum, Luc Bat, Sijo, Tanka, Renga, Haiku and Senryu. Japanese poetry is heavily discussed.

As I find time, I will be adding to this site.

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Repeating and Interlocking Forms

There are many types of poetry which use an interlocking form to link one stanza to the next one. Some forms use a refrain or a repeating line, whilst others use a line from the previous stanza to be a line in the new stanza.

In this site we discus the Kyrielle, Rondeau, Rondel, Triolet and Sestina, all of which use a refrain or a repeating word and the Terza Rima, Terzanelle, Villanelle, and Lai and Virelai which use a line or lines from the previous stanza.

I find these forms of poetry challenging and enjoyable and it has been my experience that when challenges are issued in forums that poets are pleasantly surprised with the results.

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Three Line Poetry Forms, (Tercets)

The Triplet is arguably one of the the most significant poetry forms in use throughout history, and examples of variations of three line poetry are to be found throughout the world, from the Celtic forms of Ireland and Wales, to the Muzdawidj of Arabia, whilst not forgetting the Sijo of Korea and Katuata, and Haiku of Japan.

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Four Line Poetry Forms, (Quatrains)

Probably the most important site of all my poetry information sites, in here are contained the building blocks of the majority of other poetry forms, multi stanza forms, octave, decastich and sonnets to name but a few. There are quatrains that stand alone also, and so it is only right that we start here where the foundations of poetry are created.

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Five Line Poetry Forms (Quintains)

One of my pet sites. 5 line stanzas are a very neglected or misused poetry form. In here, I discuss Sicilian Quintain, English Quintain, Quintilla, Cinquain and Limerick.

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Six Line Poetry Forms, (Sestet)

Although there is a plethora of six line poetry forms, very rarely are any used in their own write Some are used as the Volte or turning point in an arguement or the contra statement, and are very often capable of standing alone.
In here, I discuss their use as a ballad or ode and cover the Rime Couee, Habbie, Short Particular Measure, Italian Sestet, Sicilian Sestet, Spanish Sestet (Sextilla), and the Wordsworth Sestet.

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Seven Line Poetry Forms, (Septet)

The original seven line poetry form is alleged to have been invented by Geoffrey Chaucer derived from the Octava Rima. He used it in so much of his poetry and it was a popular form competing with the emerging sonnet until it sank out of fashion in the 17th century. In this site we discuss the Pleiades, Rima Royal, Rondelet, Septet, and the Sicilian and Spanish Septet.

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Eight Line Poetry Forms, (Octave)

There are a large number of eight line poetry forms, some of which form the first stanza of a sonnet; some form a stanza in their own right, (Brace Stanza) and in longer poems like Byron's Don Juan.
In this site is discussed, Common Octave, Hymnal Octave, Huitain, Italian Octave, Sicilian Octave, Ottava Rima, Strambotto and others.

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Nine Line Poetry Forms

Nine lines would at first seem an arbitrary choice for a poetry stanza. Just as we can see how the sonnet might plausibly be a sixteen line form. In fact the form devised by Edmund Spencer for his fantasy poem The Faerie Queene proved successful not only for his poem but for many subsequent poets..
In this site is discussed, Balassi Stanza, Lai and Virelai, Novelinee, Ronsardian, Rubliw, Spenserian Stanza, and Trijan Refrain.

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Ten Line Poetry Forms, (Decastich)

The original ten line poetry form, the Decastich only gets a brief mention in Turco's Book of Forms, but further research shows that there has been plenty of poetry written using Decastich. This site identifies seven main types and their major variants.

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The Sonnet Page

This site has been extensively revised and you will find it easier to manoeuvre your way around it. After the introduction, the site is split into four parts.

The first part is devoted to what may be considered the conventional sonnet forms and a brief history of the sonnet is covered as the forms are revealed. It starts with Petrarcha, moving to Spanish, French, and then shows the evolution of the English forms through Wyatt, Spenser and then Shakespeare (English). It concludes by showing complex forms such as tails, redoubles, and crowns.

The second part is where English (and a Russian) created their own rules and moved on from the now traditional English form and created their own form of sonnet.

The third part covers the sonnet when introduced into other countries, the Australian being transported abroad by missionaries and emigrants. The Arabian is more likely to have been taken home after trying to invade Italy and Spain; and so it goes all form variations caused by one influence or another.

The fourth part is dedicated to controversial forms like the Curtal Sonnet and again variations to the English sonnet as the British poets moved oversea. The other influence is the modern concept of mixing ideas and we have repeating sonnet forms, and forms such as the Ghazal and Rondel Prime, which are natural sonnets, but are ignored by pentameter purists. Some of the others may have required a little thought to apply them, and some like the Sestina may have had to be Genetically Modified.

Whatever you feel they all are all little songs and with one exception are presented as a 14 lines long poem with no stanza breaks.

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Alphabetical listing of poetry forms

There is a great poetry forum at: *Tir Na nOg Poetry Community* The purpose of this forum is to help poets enjoy poetry as well as learn, develop and sharpen poetic skills. In this forum is run poetry challenges of form and theme. Please take a little time to go and visit, and perhaps post one of your own poems there. You will find the members most supportive and helpful.

A short while ago whilst looking for work by a certain lady poet, I came across this great site: * OTHER WOMEN'S VOICES *. Its a wonderful place and I recommend everyone to visit it.

Doing another research project, I was directed by my friends to a wonderful site at: * Poetry Corner *. In this place I found an alphabetical listing of poets with many examples of some, if not all their poetry. It truly is a magnificent place and well worth visiting.

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I am often contacted by academia about using this site. I have no problem with any teaching establishment using my websites for educational projects or purposes, or any other poetry site for that matter, the purpose of The Poets Garret and Tir na nOg websites is for the betterment of poetry.
All I ask is that this site is referenced in some way, and if it is convenient, that I receive a copy of the poetry project so that I can upgrade my site accordingly, thereby improving it for future users.
I would also appreciate you pointing out any errors you spot. You will no doubt appreciate the difficulty of proof reading one's own work.

Tir Na nOg Poetry Community

Poetry Form Challenges

Poetry Theme Challenges

My Selected Poetry

Anthology Of My Friends Poetry

I use and recommend the following literary references:

The New Book of Forms, A handbook of poetics.
Lewis Turco.

The Norton Anthology of Poetry 4th Edition
Ferguson, Salter and Tallworthy

The Norton Introduction to Poetry
J. Paul Hunter (Editor)

The Complete Rhyming Dictionary (Revised)
Edited by Clement Wood Revised by Ronald Bogus

The New Princetown Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics
Alex preminger et al

The Princetown Handbook of Multicultural Poetries
Ed T.V.F. Brogan

Only after the last tree has been cut down
Only after the last river has been poisoned
Only after the last fish has been caught
Only then can we realise that money cannot be eaten

- Cree Indian Prophesy