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 English IV- Creative Writing


Poetry Link:

From the publishers of Poetry magazine, a website that provides resources and weblinks for research and exploration.
One Look Dictionary:
It allows you to look at "many" dictionaries at once.
Poets on Screen:
The Poets on Screen collection showcases contemporary poets reading selections of their own work and their favorite classic poems. These clips are the result of an ambitious five-year project funded by ProQuest and poets recorded now include Andrew Motion, Gillian Clarke, Simon Armitage, Margaret Atwood, and Benjamin Zephaniah.

Poetry for Students, eBooks:
Poetry for Students

Asian Forms that work in English:


  • haiku [ˈhī-ˌkü] plural haiku Etymology: Japanese
    An unrhymed Japanese poetic form consisting of 17 syllables arranged in three lines containing five, seven, and five syllables, respectively. Also, a poem written in the haiku form or a modification of it but in a language other than Japanese.
    The term haiku is derived from the first element of the word haikai (a humorous form of renga [linked-verse poem]) and the second of hokku (the initial stanza of a renga). The hokku, which set the tone of the poem, had to contain in its three lines mention of such subjects as the season, the time of day, and the dominant features of the landscape, making it almost an independent poem. The hokku (often interchangeably called haikai) became known as the haiku late in the 19th century, when it was entirely divested of its original function of opening a sequence of verse; today, even the earlier hokku are usually called haiku. The form gained distinction in the 17th century, when the great master Bashō elevated haiku to a highly refined and conscious art. The subject range of the haiku was eventually broadened, but it remained an art of expressing much and suggesting more in the fewest possible words. Other outstanding haiku masters were Buson in the 18th century, Kobayashi Issa in the 18th and 19th centuries, and Masaoka Shiki in the late 19th century. It has remained Japan's most popular poetic form.
    In English, the Imagist poets and others wrote haiku or imitated the form.



    • tanka [ˈtäŋ-kä] Etymology: Japanese
      A Japanese fixed form of verse of five lines, the first and third of which have five syllables and the others seven. It has historically been the basic form of Japanese poetry, and as such the term tanka is synonymous with the term WAKA, which more broadly denotes all traditional Japanese poetry in classical forms.

Traditional European Rhyme forms:



  • lyric [ˈlir-ik] Etymology: Latin lyrica lyric poetry, from neuter plural of lyricus of lyric poetry, literally, of the lyre, from Greek lyrikós, a derivative of lýra lyre
    A verse or poem that can, or supposedly can, be sung to the accompaniment of a musical instrument (in ancient times, usually a lyre) or that expresses intense personal emotion in a manner suggestive of a song. Lyric poetry expresses the thoughts and feelings of the poet and is sometimes contrasted with narrative poetry and verse drama, which relate events in the form of a story. Elegies, odes, and sonnets are important types of lyric poetry.
    Sappho and her contemporary Alcaeus and the later Anacreon were the chief Doric lyric poets. At the close of the 5th century Bacchylides and Pindar developed the tradition of the dithyrambic odes to its highest point. Latin lyrics were written by Catullus and Horace in the 1st century BC.
    In medieval Europe the lyric form can be found in the songs of the troubadours, in Christian hymns, and in various ballads. In the Renaissance the most finished form of lyric, the sonnet, was brilliantly developed by Petrarch, William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, and John Milton. Especially identified with the lyrical forms of poetry in the late 18th and 19th centuries were the Romantic poets, including such diverse figures as Robert Burns, William Blake, William Wordsworth, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Alphonse de Lamartine, Victor Hugo, J.W. von Goethe, and Heinrich Heine. With the exception of some dramatic verse, most Western poetry in the late 19th and the 20th centuries may be classified as lyrical. See also ELEGY; ODE; SONNET.





Shape Dependent Forms:


Non-traditional forms:




Forms Determined by Content:




  • ode [ˈōd] Etymology: Greek (Attic) ōidḗ, a contraction of Greek aoidḗ, a derivative of aeídein to sing
    A ceremonious lyric poem on an occasion of public or private dignity in which personal emotion and general meditation are united. The form is usually marked by particular exaltation of feeling and style and by varying length of line and complexity of stanza forms.
    The Greek word ōidē alluded to a choric song, usually accompanied by a dance. Alcman (7th century BC) originated the strophic arrangement of the ode, which is a rhythmic system composed of two or more lines repeated as a unit. Stesichorus (7th–6th century BC) invented the triadic, or three-part, structure (strophic lines followed by antistrophic lines in the same meter, concluding with a summary line, called an epode, in a different meter) that characterizes the odes of Pindar and Bacchylides. Choral odes were also an integral part of the Greek drama. In Latin the word was not used until about the time of Horace, in the 1st century BC. His carmina (“songs”), written in stanzas of two or four lines of polished Greek meters, are now universally called odes. Both Pindaric and Horatian ode forms were revived during the European Renaissance and continued to influence Western lyric poetry into the 20th century.
    In pre-Islāmic Arabic poetry, the ode flourished in the form of the qasida. Two great collections of these date from the 8th and 9th centuries. See also HORATIAN ODE; IRREGULAR ODE; PINDARIC ODE; QASIDA.


      • epic [ˈep-ik] Etymology: from epic, adjective, pertaining to an epic, from Latin epicus, from Greek epikós, a derivative of épē lines, verses, epic poetry, plural of épos word
        Long narrative poem in an elevated style that celebrates heroic achievement and treats themes of historical, national, religious, or legendary significance. It is to be distinguished from the briefer heroic lay, the less elevated, less ambitious folktale and ballad, and the more consistently extravagant and fantastic medieval romance, although in the narrative poetry of Ludovico Ariosto, Matteo Boiardo, and Edmund Spenser the categories tend to merge. One may also distinguish “primary” (also called traditional or classical) epic, shaped from the legends and traditions of a heroic age and part of the oral tradition of literature, from “secondary” (or literary) epic, which was written down from the beginning and was self-consciously produced by sophisticated poets who adapted aspects of traditional epic for specific literary and ideological purposes. Homer's Iliad and Odyssey are primary epics; Virgil's Aeneid and John Milton's Paradise Lost are secondary epics.
        Although the Mesopotamian verse-narratives of Gilgamesh, dating from the 3rd millennium BC, may constitute the earliest epic, the Homeric poems, which assumed their final form in the period 900–750 BC, are usually regarded as the first important epics and the main source of epic conventions and characteristics in the secondary epics of western Europe.
        The main aspects of epic convention are the centrality of a hero—sometimes semidivine—of military, national, or religious importance; an extensive, perhaps even cosmic, geographical setting; heroic battle; extended and often exotic journeying; and the involvement of supernatural beings, such as gods, angels, or demons, in the action. Epics tend to treat familiar and traditional subjects. They usually begin with a statement of the subject, invoking the assistance of a muse, and then plunge into the middle of the story, filling in the earlier stages later on with retrospective narrative by figures within the poem. Catalogs and processions of heroes, often associated with specific localities, are common, and when such heroes speak it is often in set speeches delivered in formal circumstances. Epic narrative is often enriched by extended epic similes that go beyond an initial point of correspondence to elaborate a whole scene or episode drawn from a different area of experience.
        Primary epics registering heroic experience in the vernacular languages of Europe continued to appear long after Virgil popularized secondary epic. The Spanish Cantar de mio Cid celebrates the hero of the wars against the Moors in the 11th century; the French La Chanson de Roland (12th century) commemorates an 8th-century battle in the Pyrenees between Charlemagne's army and the Saracens; the 13th-century German Nibelungenlied recounts a story deriving ultimately from the war between the Burgundians and the Huns in the 5th century; and the Anglo-Saxon Beowulf refers to historical characters and events of the 6th century as it describes Beowulf's struggles against the monsters that threaten the heroic fellowship of the mead hall. But long before these poems assumed the form in which they now exist, the historical elements in them had passed into myth and were influenced by legends from other periods and traditions.
        The epic poem was generally regarded as a superseded form in the 20th century, but the scope and majesty of the genre were occasionally suggested by works in other forms, such as the fantasy trilogy The Lord of the Rings (1954–55), a prose work by J.R.R. Tolkien that reflects the flavor and forms of Norse saga and Anglo-Saxon poetry in its epic narrative set in the realm of Middle Earth.

      • dramatic monologue
        A poem written in the form of a speech of an individual character to an imaginary audience; it compresses into a single vivid scene a narrative sense of the speaker's history and psychological insight into his character. Though the form is chiefly associated with Robert BROWNING, who raised it to a highly sophisticated level in such poems as “My Last Duchess,” “The Bishop Orders His Tomb at St. Praxed's Church,” and “Fra Lippo Lippi,” it is actually much older. Many Old English poems are dramatic monologues—for instance, “The Wanderer” and “The Seafarer.” The form is also common in folk ballads, a tradition that Robert Burns imitated with broad satiric effect in “Holy Willie's Prayer.”
        Browning's contribution to the form is one of subtlety of characterization and complexity of the dramatic situation, which the reader gradually pieces together from the casual remarks or digressions of the speaker. The subject discussed is usually far less interesting than what is inadvertently revealed about the speaker himself.
        The dramatic monologue form parallels the novelistic experiments with point of view in which the reader is left to assess the intelligence and reliability of the narrator. Later poets who successfully used the form were Ezra Pound (“The River Merchant's Wife: A Letter”), T.S. Eliot (“Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”), and Robert Frost (“The Pauper Witch of Grafton”). Compare SOLILOQUY.

    • ballad [ˈbal-əd] Etymology: Old French balade, from Old Provençal ballada dance, song sung while dancing, a derivative of ballar to dance

      • A form of short narrative folk song, the distinctive style of which crystallized in Europe during the late Middle Ages. The ballad has been preserved as a musical and literary form up to modern times. It was originally part of the oral tradition, and the oral form has been preserved as the folk ballad, while a written, literary ballad evolved from that tradition.
      • Typically, the folk ballad (or standard ballad) tells a compact tale in a style that achieves bold, sensational effects through deliberate starkness and abruptness. Despite a rigid economy of narrative, it employs a variety of devices to prolong highly charged moments in the story and to thicken the emotional atmosphere, the most common being a frequent repetition of some key word, line, or phrase.
      • The ballad genre in its present form can scarcely have existed before about 1100. The oldest ballad in Francis J. Child's definitive compilation, The English and Scottish Popular Ballads (1882–98), dates from 1300.
      • Unlike the strictly impersonal folk ballad, the literary ballad calls attention to itself and to its composer. Early ballads of this sort were the work of professional entertainers employed in wealthy households from the Middle Ages until the 17th century, and many of these pieces glorify noble families. The modern literary ballad recalls in its rhythmic and narrative elements the traditions of folk balladry. Among the well-known poets who have written their own literary ballads are Sir Walter Scott, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, and Heinrich Heine.