Outline of poetry

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The following outline is provided as an overview of and introduction to poetry:

Poetry – a form of art in which language is used for its aesthetic qualities, in addition to, or instead of, its apparent meaning.

What type of thing is poetry?[edit]

Poetry can be described as all of the following things:

  • One of the arts – as an art form, poetry is an outlet of human expression, that is usually influenced by culture and which in turn helps to change culture. Poetry is a physical manifestation of the internal human creative impulse.
    • A form of literature – literature is composition, that is, written or oral work such as books, stories, and poems.
    • Fine art – in Western European academic traditions, fine art is art developed primarily for aesthetics, distinguishing it from applied art that also has to serve some practical function. The word "fine" here does not so much denote the quality of the artwork in question, but the purity of the discipline according to traditional Western European canons.

Types of poetry[edit]

Common poetic forms[edit]

Periods, styles and movements[edit]

For movements see List of poetry groups and movements

History of poetry[edit]

Main article: History of poetry

Elements of poetry[edit]

Main article: Meter (poetry)

Methods of creating rhythm[edit]

See also Parallelism, inflection, intonation, foot

Scanning meter[edit]

Main article: Systems of scansion
  • spondee – two stressed syllables together
  • iamb – unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable
  • trochee – one stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable
  • dactyl – one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables
  • anapest – two unstressed syllables followed by one stressed syllable

The number of metrical feet in a line are described in Greek terminology as follows:

Common metrical patterns[edit]

Main article: Meter (poetry)

Rhyme, alliteration and assonance[edit]

Rhyming schemes[edit]

Main article: Rhyme scheme

Stanzas and verse paragraphs[edit]

Main article: stanza

Poetic diction[edit]

Main article: Poetic diction


Main article: Poetics

Some famous poets and their poems[edit]

Main articles: List of poets and List of poems

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Two versions of Paradise Lost are freely available on-line from Project Guttenberg, Project Gutenberg text version 1 and Project Gutenberg text version 2
  2. ^ The original text, as translated by Samuel Butler, is available at Wikisource.s:The Iliad
  3. ^ The full text is available online both in Russian [1] and as translated into English by Charles Johnston.[2] Please see the pages on Eugene Onegin and on Nabokov's Notes on Prosody and the references on those pages for discussion of the problems of translation and of the differences between Russian and English iambic tetrameter.
  4. ^ The full text of "The Raven" is available at Wikisource s:The Raven (Poe)
  5. ^ The full text of "The Hunting of the Snark" is available at Wikisource.s:The Hunting of the Snark
  6. ^ The full text of Don Juan is available on-line
  7. ^ See the Text of the play in French as well as an English translation,

External links[edit]