a division of a poem based on thought or form. Stanzas based on form are marked by their rhyme scheme.
Stanzas are known by the number of lines they contain
—(sometimes called a closed couplet) consists of two successive rhyming verses that contain a complete thought within the two lines. It usually consists of iambic pentameter lines
is a three-line stanza form with an interlaced or interwoven rhyme scheme: a-b-a, b-c-b, c-d-c, d-e-d, etc. Usually iambic pentameter
is a five-line nonsense poem with an anapestic meter. The rhyme scheme is usually a-a-b-b-a. The first, second, and fifth lines have three stresses; and the third and fourth have two stresses
consists of four lines with a rhyme scheme of a-b-c-b. The first and third lines are tetrameter and the second and fourth are trimeter
is a stanza consisting of seven lines in iambic pentameter rhyming a-b-a-b-b-c-c. It called so because King James I used it.
consists of eight iambic pentameter lines with a rhyme scheme of a-b-a-b-a-b-c-c. It is a form that was borrowed from the Italians.
is a nine-line stanza consisting of eight iambic pentameter lines followed by an alexandrine, a line of iambic hexameter. The rhyme scheme is a-b-a-b-b-c-b-c-c. The form derives its name from Edmund Spenser, who initiated the form for his Faerie Queene.
is a fourteen-line stanza form consisting of iambic pentameter lines. The two major sonnet forms are the Italian (Petrarchan) and the English (Shakespearean) sonnet.
Petrarchan or Italian Sonnet
is divided usually between eight lines called the octave, using two rimes arranged a-b-b-a-a-b-b-a, and six lines called the sestet, using any arrangement of either two or three rimes: c-d-c-d-c-d and c-d-e- c-d-e are common patterns. The division between octave and sestet in the Italian sonnet (indicated by the rhyme scheme and sometimes marked off in printing by a space) usually corresponds to a division of thought. The octave may, for instance, present a situation and the sestet a comment, or the octave an idea and the sestet an example, or the octave a question and the sestet an answer. Thus the structure reflects the meaning.
English or Shakespearean Sonnet
is composed of three quatrains and a concluding couplet, riming a-b-a-b c-d-c-d e-f-e-f g-g. Again the units marked off by the rimes and the development of the thought often correspond. The three quatrains, for instance, may present three examples and the couplet a conclusion or the quatrains three metaphorical statements of one idea and the couplet an application.
consists of five tercets and a quatrain in which the first and third lines of the opening tercet recur alternately at the end of the other tercets and together as the last two lines of the quatrain.
usually a poem that mourns the death of an individual, the absence of something deeply loved, or the transience of mankind
is the most widely used type of poem, so diverse in its format that a rigid definition is impossible. However, several factors run common in all lyrics:
a. limited length
b. intensely subjective
c. personal expression of personal emotion
d. expression of thoughts and feelings of one speaker
e. highly imaginative
f. regular rhyme scheme
an exalted, complex rapturous lyric poem written about a dignified, lofty subject