Poetic Patterns & Styles
[sometimes numbers stand for syllables
except when they stand for words. Each form is labelled accordingly

Haiku   (5 – 7 – 5)  syllables
“Haiku is not a shriek, a howl, a sigh, or a yawn; rather, it is the deep breath of life.”
– ‘Mountain Tasting: Haiku and Journals of Santoka Taneda’

Tanka  (5 – 7 – 5 – 7 – 7)  syllables

Shadorma   (3 – 5 – 3 – 3 – 7 – 5)  syllables
six lines – no rhymes – multiple stanzas [your choice] – just follow meter

The Sept   (1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1)  syllables
start with one word than two words and so on
then back down to a lesser number of words

Nonet   (9 – 8 – 7 – 6 – 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 )  syllables
progression downward of syllables

Cinquain #1   (2 – 4 – 6 – 8 – 2)  syllables
five line poem on any theme with the earlier mentioned syllable pattern

Cinquain #2   (1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 1)  words
1 is the title & subject of the poem
2 are two words describing the title subject
3 is the action of the subject of poem verbs ending in “ing”
4 is four or more words to form a sentence about the title subject
5 is one word – a synonym or a word very similar to the title subject


Directions On Creating a Circular Poem
Written by Jane Dougherty

The first word of each line rhymes with the last word of the previous line, ending up with a repetition of the first line, so the first word of all rhymes with the last word of the penultimate line. It’s really quite easy since you can have your line break wherever you like. No internal rhyming patterns or rhythm. Try it and you’ll see 🙂

Just don’t think about it. Write, and when you reach a word that you feel has a rhyme to follow it, make your line break there. Like:
I watch the gull upon the sea
Free it flies beyond the waves
Saves the souls of wanderers lost.
Frost bites and still I wait etc etc.
Just let the words flow 🙂


Red dawn breaks, sharp as knives,
Lives shift and stir, some close, in tepid beds,
Reds and pinks paint the sky,
High, too high, to touch with mortal hand.
Stand and watch the tearing of the night,
Slight breath of a breeze drifts,
Sifts the dark fragments, sorts the words.
Birds break loose from their pen,
Again they soar, this time free as air,
Where a thousand generations of ancestors have led,
Red dawn breaks sharp as knives.

By Jane Dougherty


The ’28’ Form Invented by Jael Aster. The 28-form as 4 lines of 7 syllables each, with “optional” end-rhyme in first and last lines. Other options would be 7 lines of 4 syllables; or substituting word count for syllable count. Each stanza has to somehow add up to 28.  Choose whatever style  works for you.

Here is an example of a “28” form written by Jael Aster

From you, I could not wander
No escaping your bent form
Smirking game you played to tease
Me—jests not gentle, cruel.


“Eco Form” or The Echo Form b/c of the repetition.

The Eco/The Echo is:

A four stanza poem
Word count 3-5-4-6-6-3
The first and last lines repeat in each stanza.
The fifth line is the same in each stanza throughout the poem
The last stanza is a four line “conclusion”
each of the first lines of the poem echo –
the fourth line [closed in brackets]
ties the whole poem up.


In Blackout Poetry take a black marker to the page of a classic novel or poem and create a poem. It is even more far reaching than that I’ve discovered. One can create art by using colors, painting designs. But basically, pick a page randomly [I cannot personally tear pages or deface pages from classic novels. My alternative is to use pages from pdfs, scale them down and do exactly the same thing]. I will post a beautiful example. For an assortment of Blackout Poetry try Google or Pinterest and enter into search. You will be surprised by what you will find.

My new addiction is collecting and creating my own Blackout Poems. Various sizes and lengths. Next I am getting into creating art through color and to try my hand at design, Making a Blackout Poem a drawing or painting. The ones I have seen amaze me. A art form so mesmerizing. Give it a try, Let your mind go and search out the words to create the meaning you are drawn to. The words are there, Just don’t look to hard. Go slow as if in a dream. You will find what you are looking for with patience. Have fun. – jk

'to exist' - by anonymous

‘to exist’ – by anonymous

Free verse is a literary device that can be defined as poetry that is free from limitations of regular meter or rhythm and does not rhyme with fixed forms. Such poems are without rhythms and rhyme schemes; do not follow regular rhyme scheme rules and still provide artistic expression. In this way, the poet can give their own shape to a poem how he/she desires. However, it still allows poets to use alliteration, rhyme, cadences or rhythms to get the effects that they consider are suitable for the piece.

*Free verse poems have no regular meter and rhythm.
*They do not follow a proper rhyme scheme as such; these poems do not have any set rules.
*This type of poem is based on normal pauses and natural rhythmical phrases as compared to the artificial constraints of normal poetry.

*It is also called vers libre which is a French word.


I will add more poetic forms when discovered. If anyone has one that is not included above please feel free to leave me a message in the comment section. I will check it out and if it is something that works I will add to the list of Poetic Patterns & Styles. Hope this is helpful for Poets, new and old, for memory’s sake and to open new doors to express the poetry we feel inside us wanting out. *And don’t forget the challenges if you so desire. They really do stretch the poetic gray matter and develop the ability of creating word puzzles beyond wilder dreams.  – jk


My most recent contribution to the (5) Word Challenge

(5) Words: | Rare | Sense | Moment | Taste | Reflect |


TANKA [ 5 – 7 – 5 – 7 – 7 ]


rare love song

Fleeting Harmony

Ah the sense of love
Moments awaken the mind
Tasting Pinot Noir
A rare love song remembered
Lips’ touch reflect forever

(c) jk 2015