Short Forms

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History: The Alouette is a form created by Jan Turner on the poetry community site Shadow Poetry some time around 2008/2009. The form name means 'Skylark' in French, and also can mean a children's song sung in a group. Structure: 2 or more stanzas 6 lines per stanza Meter: 5, 5, 7, 5, 5, 7 [...]

2020-03-03T13:48:11-05:00By |


History: The Amphion is another poetry form attributed to Viola Berg and her 1977 book Pathways for the Poet which we have yet to read and find. Structure: a poem of 10 lines. Lines 1, 4, 7, and 10 are tetrameter (4 beats), and they alternate with couplets in dimeter (2 beats) Rhymed, rhyme scheme [...]

2020-03-06T09:47:04-05:00By |


History: The Asefru, plural being Isefra (as in "I wrote an Asefru, but my friend Bill showed me up and wrote two Isefra"), is, according to common western understanding, a poetry form of the Berber people, or i-Mazigh-en(singular: a-Mazigh) of Kabylia, a Berberophone area of Algeria. However, this understanding is to be taken with a grain of [...]

2019-08-27T16:34:39-04:00By |


History: Biku is a poetry form, called by Hadas a "poetic mechanism", similar to a haiku, created by Eran Hadas in 2014 inspired by and in honor of Tanya Reinhart's (linguist, activist and "one of Noam Chomsky’s favorite PHD students") explanation that "each media item could (and should) be have a threefold reaction. We should [...]

2020-02-25T15:07:54-05:00By |

Blood Quill

History: The Blood Quill is a form created by Jim T. Henriksen in 2008 on the site According to the man himself, on the post where he first presented it: "I am a huge fan of World of Warcraft, and this is for the guild Poetic Justice. This is written in the form I [...]

2020-03-03T13:30:53-05:00By |


History: Clogyrnach, pronounced clog-ír-nach, (or even simpler a Clog Ear Nak, more or less) is a 16th codified Welsh meter, one of 24 official Welsh meters, and falls under the category of Awdl, or ode. Structure: Honestly, as far as Gaelic or Welsh forms go, this one is not that bad. Some get down right masochistic [...]

2019-07-23T14:17:55-04:00By |

Englyn (and it’s 8 types)

History: An Englyn is a traditional Welsh and Cornish short poetry form. It has been found in the earliest Welsh literature, from the 5th century AD, and the earliest were found written in the margins in a tenth century Juvencus Manuscript. Although there is speculation that it's creation can be sourced in Latin poetry and [...]

2020-03-06T09:34:48-05:00By |


All glossary entries are continually being updated. If you have a contribution, let us know.  History: The Ghazal, also spelled ghazel or gasal, Turkish gazel, and pronounced “guzzle” in some languages and “gu-ZAHL” in others, though in both with a guttural “g” almost like the “ch” in “Bach.”, is a genre of lyric poetry developed in Persia in the late [...]

2019-04-21T17:26:18-04:00By |


The Gogyohka is a modern Japanese form developed by Enta Kusakabe in 1957. Based on the Tanka and Kodai kayo, Gogyohka literally translates into 5-line poem.  The rules of the Gogyohka are seemingly very simple. The stanza is 5 lines, and each line is its own phrase. What is considered a phrase, however, is what [...]

2021-12-09T11:52:50-05:00By |


History: Previously called Hokku, Haiku was given it's name by Masoka Shiki around 1900. Hokku, meaning starting verse, is the opening stanza of a Japanese orthodox collaborative linked poem, renga, or of its later derivative, renku (haikai no renga), and its establishment as an independent verse form is credited to Basho and his disciples. Around 1644-1694 [...]

2019-07-23T13:52:09-04:00By |