Formula Poetry

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These are created by following a set pattern of instructions. These may be based upon a variety of requirements. Their subjects are seldom limited.

An acrostic/alphabet poem consists of using the letters of a word, which is the subject of the poem, to begin each line of the poem.

Please pay attention


Everyone will be lost

Monday during the test over poetry.

A blotz poem is designed to describe an object which is not necessarily real. It places an emphasis on alliteration.

  • Line 1: Name your creature. (This is ___)
  • Line 2: Tell where your creature lives. All words begin with the first letter of the creature's name and should list at least four places.
  • Line 3: Tell what your creature eats. Use the same first letter and include at least four items.
  • Line 4: Tell what your creature likes. Use the same first letter and include at least four items.
  • Line 5: Tell something about your creature. Use the same first letter and include at least three items.
  • Line 6: Tell about something your creature did to you.

This is a teacherarian.

Teacherarians live in Turkish towers on top of telegraph transmitters in Tibet only on Tuesdays.

Teacherarians eat tortoise toes, tangy tarts, tender toast, and tuna.

Teacherarians throw temper tantrums, torment students, try on toupees, and twiddle their thumbs.

Teacherarians teach trigonometry, enjoy tapestry, and like tanning their temples.                        

This teacherarian told me to tape up my mouth. It tortured me and tore out my teeth.

Cinquain is a five line poem which is constructed with both syllable and part of speech constraints.

  • Line 1: Write a noun of one syllable.
  • Line 2: Write two adjectives of four syllables.
  • Line 3: Write three verbs of six syllables.
  • Line 4: Write a short thought about the noun using eight syllables.
  • Line 5: Repeat the noun or use a synonym with two syllables.


Wrongness, falsehood

Hurts, punishes, darkens

Makes matters worse and worse for me


A contrast or parallel poem presents two sides of a similar idea. The first line introduces one side, and the next line presents the other side. From that point on, the subjects are alternated. The idea of repetition is an important element in this type of poem.

In moments of fear, heights make me dizzy;

When I have courage, I feel close to the clouds.

In moments of fear, shutters rattle in the wind like gunshots;

When I have courage, windows let me watch the wind.

A dada poem is created at random. A list of ten verbs, eight nouns, and some pronouns are written on scraps of paper and placed in a container. As they are drawn out, the author arranges them in a pleasing but likely non-sensical way.

firecracker his nibble

snore a tickle

juggle jellyfish

purr a pickle

balloon a squish

platypus hiccup kazoo

hug away the flu today


A five senses poem describes an emotion or idea. Its emphasis is on the different ways in which the senses can be used to describe.

  • Line 1: Tell what color an emotion or idea is.
  • Line 2: Tell what the emotion tastes like.
  • Line 3: Tell what the emotion sounds like.
  • Line 4: Tell what the emotion smells like.
  • Line 5: Tell what the emotion looks like.
  • Line 6: Tell what the emotion makes you feel like.

Fall is red and yellow.

It tastes like chicken soup.

It sounds like wind through the trees.

And smells like warm wood smoke.

It looks like what you see when you get your new glasses.

It makes you feel energetic.

A limerick is a humorous five line poem which consists of a rhyme scheme of aabba. Lines 1, 2, and 5 have eight to ten syllables and lines 3 and 4 have five syllables. It has a long history as verse if not poetry and is frequently risque.

There was once a lady in Champlain

Who said she had nothing to gain.

She gave it a try.

And said she was spry.

But crashed when she took the afternoon train.

A part of speech poem is written using the limitations of parts of speech.

  • Line 1: Write down one article and one noun.
  • Line 2: Write down one adjective, one conjunction, and one adjective.
  • Line 3: Write down one verb, one conjunction, and one verb.
  • Line 4: Write down one adverb.
  • Line 5: Write down one noun which relates to the noun in the first line.

A painting,

colorful and exciting,

Decorates and fulfills



A symmetrical or diamonte poem is another form of the part of speech poem. Its difference is that it allows movement of the subject from the beginning to end of the poem.

  • Line 1: Write one noun which is subject #1.
  • Line 2: Write down two adjectives describing subject #1.
  • Line 3: Write down three participles or verbs ending in "ing" telling about subject #1.
  • Line 4: Write down two nouns related to subject #1 and two nouns related to subject #2.
  • Line 5: Write down three participles or verbs ending in "ing" telling about subject #2.
  • Line 6: Write down two adjectives describing subject #2.
  • Line 7: Write one noun which is subject #2.


clever, cuddly

crouching, pouncing, purring

meow, feline, canine, bark

running, jumping, wagging

lovable, smart


A shaped or concrete poem is visual poetry. The shape or form is as much a part of the poem as the words. The words are arranged in such a way that they suggest a picture of the subject of the poem.

Splish Splash

Down the Window

Go all the Water






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