In this article, you will find the basic information - History, Rhyme Scheme, Meter and Required Elements – of various poetic forms. We hope that this will guide you in two ways –
If you are reviewing or trying to understand a particular verse, this should give you some “hard” criteria to evaluate how it works, and if it does all you ask of it. But please keep in mind – reviewing poetry this way is a lot like judging Ice-Skating for the Olympics. The “required elements” are important, but in the final analysis, “artistic merit” is what matters. Does it work for you? Does it move you? Do you want to read it again?
We also hope that some of you are looking for new things to try. No matter what you were taught in school, remember these three things:
1. It does not have to be hard to understand to be good.
2. Learning to express yourself inside the rules of a form will teach you a lot about yourself as a writer; what you want to say and how you want to say it – even if the poem itself never sees the light of day. Try writing the same idea in several forms if you are struggling to understand a character or plot point in a story!
3. It is supposed to be fun- otherwise, why would you want to do it?
While we all want to be technically correct, fiction and poetry sometimes need to be experimental. The "rules" say the bumblebee can't fly - but that's because the rules look at the bumblebee as a fixed-wing aircraft. Sometimes if you want to fly, you have to beat your wings.
This article will be stripped down to the bones of the forms, an unemotional guide to give you quick answers
If you would like to play with the forms, ask questions or see them in action, we encourage you to join us at: Verse and Adversity forum, a much more informal guide and playground.
If you have serious questions, we recommend Stultiloquentia's forum:
the Poetry Discussion.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.