A Guide to Verse Forms 

A guide to verse forms, aimed mainly at the would-be poet. This site does not claim to be complete or authoritative. And to avoid copyright problems, I wrote all the examples myself. You have been warned!

Sections planned but not yet written are indicated thus.

Latest news: Several books of my poems are now available from Amazon in Kindle editions, including Old Possum's Book of Practical Pigs. Please see Publications page for more information.


Metre Table of Metric Feet Why write in standard forms?
Rhyme Stanzas (classification)   Books about poetry

Full index of verse forms and stanza forms

Here's a list of all the verse forms covered on the site. There are many other standard verse forms which are not included, and not all of the forms on this site are standard. More forms will be added as and when they come to my notice and/or I succeed in writing presentable examples of them.

Balanced sonnetHaikai

Ballad   Haiku Rajaz metre Song That Luc Bat
Ballade Hazaj metre Ramal metre Song That Luc Bat Sonnet
Ballade Royal Hir a Thoddaid Rhopalics Sonnet
Ballade Supreme
Rhyme Royal Sonnet of Sonnets
Balassi stanza Interlocking Rubaiyat Rhymed Sestina Sonnet Redoublé
Rictameter Spenserian stanza
Blank verse Kalevala metre Rimas Dissolutas Standard Habbie
Bref Double
Kyrielle Romantic stanza  
Burns stanza
Rondeau   Tanka

California rhyme scheme
Lai Rondeau Redoublé Terza Rima
Canzone Limerick Rondel Terza Rima Sonnet
Caudate Sonnet Long Measure Rondel Supreme Tetractys
Chant Royal Long Hymnal Measure Rondelet Than-Bauk
ChastushkaLuc BatRondine
Chaucerian Roundel
Rondo Triolet
Ch'i-Yen-Shih metre  Muyaka stanza Ronsardian Ode
Troilus stanza
Roundel Troubadouric song
Clerihew Newman Sestina
Common Measure Nonet Rubai (Rubaiyat) Urjuzah
Copla de Arte Mayor

Corona of sonnets Ocarina Rustavelian Quatrain  
Cro Cumaisc Etir Casbairdni Ocus Lethrannaigecht Ode Ruthless Rhyme Venus and Adonis stanza
Curtal Sonnet Onegin stanza

Ottava Rima Scottish stanza Villanelle
Scupham Sonnet Virelai
Deibhidhe/Deibide Pantoum Senryu Virelai Ancien
Deibide Baise Fri Toin Pathya Vat Sestina (Sextain) Virelai Nouveau
Domino Rhyme Pleiadic Shairi (Georgian) Virelai Post-Moderne
Double Sestina Poulter's Measure Shairi (Swahili)  

Pushkin sonnet Short Measure Wayra  
Englyn puSlogh vagh Short Hymnal Measure  

  Short Particular Measure Ya-Du
Sicilian Octave  
Six-line stave Zejel


Or locate the verse form you want by category:

Closed forms Open forms Chained forms Syllable-counting forms
Popular forms Neglected forms Recommended forms Recent additions to this site

Or you can locate the poem you want by title.

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This page last updated 01/04/2013