Until I really got into writing in rhyme and researching blog posts for Zwannie Books, my knowledge of poetry was pretty minimal.

I knew about Limericks, Sonnets, Rhymes and I’d stumbled across the Haiku style, but that was about it. (FYI, I find Haiku poems really hard to write. If you can do them, I’d love to hear them!)

So that being said, I thought I would delve a little deeper into the world of poetry and share with you a run-down of the most well known styles as well as some of the other lesser known forms. A little beginners guide to poetry, if you will.


Acrostic poems use the first letter of each line to spell something else. Maybe a person’s name. Here’s an example:

Every day I wonder, Like a daydream all the time, Love is always the answer, Into this heart of mine, Everything will be just fine.


Couplets are short rhymes of only two lines. The last word in each line must rhyme. Multiple couplets can be added together to make longer rhymes.

We love reading books, you know it’s true. Reading together is even more fun to do.

Free verse

Free verse is something I find incredibly difficult. Free verse doesn’t follow any formal rhythm or rhyme pattern. To me, they seem more like incredibly short stories.

The book fell to the floor below. It sat there, broken. Aching for someone to save it.

A Beginners Guide to Poetry


Ohhhhh, here comes the doozy!

Haiku is a a form of poetry with it’s roots in Japan. In it’s most basic form, it is a three line poem built with the following rules. The first line contains five syllables, the second line contains seven and the third line contains five. I’ll try and do one for you so you know what I mean.

Missymoo is cool. She loves going to her school. Always being good.


This is the first style of poetry I really fell in love with. I like that they usually have a comedic edge. A limerick is formed of five lines and has a very distinctive rhythm. Lines one, two and five must rhyme, and lines three and four must have a different rhyme.

There once was a hedgehog named Choggie, who was friends with a little brown doggy. They walked down the lane, but it started to rain. They both got incredibly soggy! 


A quatrain is a four line poem with the second and the last lines rhyming. The rhyming lines should also have the same number of syllables.

It’s cold and wet in Cape Town today, Winter is hanging tight. I hope tomorrow bring warmer climes. I hope the sun shines bright.

A Beginners Guide to Poetry


This is the format that we write our Zwannie Books titles in. Each stanza* is formed of four lines, with lines one and three rhyming together as well as lines two and four.

Mr. Buttcheek Man was a funny young man, with a face just like a bottom. Even though he was green and people could be mean, he didn’t let anything stop him! 

*a stanza is a group of lines within a poem.


A Sonnet is a relatively long format poem, usually of fourteen lines, which may use a combination of rhyming formats.

One day I hope to grow old and wise, and spend all day just eating pies. I’d love to hold my grandchildren tight and read them bedtime stories at night.

The tables will turn as I age each day, maybe I’ll be able to just chill and play. My kids can get their wish from me and make the rules in their homes, you see.

I can take long naps throughout each day, and maybe take a cruise to the U.S.A. I’d love to travel as much as I can and be a really cool travelling Gran.

I’m really looking forward to growing old and seeing what the future will hold.

There are many other forms to be explored, but for starters, this should keep you busy!

And there endeth my poetry round-up for beginners. I hope you found it fun. If you have a poem you’d like to share, I’d love to hear from anyone.

Yours in rhyme,

Ellie signature