Poetry Passport

Enjoy your trip through the interesting, didactic and enriching styles of poetry!

Haiku: A nature poem whose 3 lines have a set structure of 5,7,5 syllables to each row.


 Japanese poet Basho is considered to be the master of this form. His Old Pond poem is legendary.

Tanka: A poem that is similar to haiku, but with 5 lines and 31 syllables in a 5,7,5,7,7 structure.

Cinquain:  A verse   of five lines that do not rhyme. Each line has a set number of syllables:

Line 1= 2 syllables Black Widow
Line 2 = 4  syllables  scary, big
Line 3 = 6  syllables eating, lying, webbing
Line 4 = 8  syllables black widow is poisonous
Line 5 = 2  syllables spider.--anon.student


A “diamond-shaped" poem comprised of seven lines, using a set structure.


A Couplet is two lines of poetry that rhyme and are about the same length. Dr. Seuss wrote lots of couplets, as did William Shakespeare!

I do not like green eggs and ham,

I do not like them Sam I am.--Dr. Seuss

Good night, good night. Parting is such sweet sorrow

that I shall say good night 'til it be morrow.--Shakespeare

Blackout poems are a more recent addition to this style. Using existing type (from a book, newspaper, etc.) All unwanted words are blacked out. The remaining text forms the poem.


Sensory poems consist of 6 lines, with the emotion stated in first line. Lots of descriptive adjectives follow...

Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire I hold with hose who favor fire
But if it had to perish twice, 
I think I know enough of hate 
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great and would suffice.--Robert Frost

Opposite poems are about things that are opposite! Often written in comic verse or couplets, they are often funny/corny.

What is the opposite of cheese?
For mice it's anything you please
So fond are they of cheese, that mice
Think nothing else is very nice.--Richard Wilbur

Free verse is just what it says--poetry written with rhymed or unrhymed verse and no set meter.