Follow your passion and find the poet within.

Develop your ability to write and understand the different types of poetry.
Learn under the instruction of professional writers who have published poetry and prose.

Become Skilled at Writing Poetry

The process by which we create a poem may be more important than the actual poem we create. Studies have shown that creativity can emerge after periods of depression and loneliness. For example, Elizabeth Layton created line drawings to develop her talent and used this creativity to overcome her depression. As you have read in the previous lessons, poets may have experienced depression and loss.

Creative expression can benefit us in many ways according to Ebersole and Hess (1998), who state that it can help us to –

  • make a positive out of a loss, depression or bad experience
  • create order and balance
  • maintain our integrity
  • resolve conflicts
  • give us a sense of control over the external world
  • help us to clarify our thoughts

Various Stages of Creativity have been identified. You might recognise which stage your work is at at a particular time. Ebersole and Hess (1995) identify the following stages –

  • Preparation – when experience and time foster creative opportunities.
  • Frustration – where the ideas, approach and expression are not clear.
  • Incubation – the idea begins to take shape.
  • Illumination – the approach starts to become clear.
  • Elaboration – the plan is developed and expanded upon.


Course Content and Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Nature and Scope of Poetry
    • Brief description of the many different types of poetry
    • Poetic Devices (Rhyme, Assonance, Alliteration, Personification, Onomatopoeia, Imagery, Symbolism, Similie, Metaphor)
    • Styles that tell a Story (Monody, Ballad, Epitaph)
    • Classic Styles (Sonnet, Ode, Haiku)
    • Monorhyme
    • Trick Poems (Limerick, Tonge Twister, Shape Poem, Palindrome)
    • Styles classified according to Arrangement of Lines (Quatrain Style, Pantoum, Free Verse, Villanelle, Clerihew, Damante, Acrostic Style)
    • Keeping a Notebook
    • Editing
    • Terminology.
  2. The Work of Other Poets
    • Shakespeare
    • Kendall
    • Batejeman
    • Angelou
    • Shelley
    • Dickinson
    • Edgar Allen Poe
  3. Encouraging your creativity.
    • Exploring Creativity
    • Understanding your own Creativity
  4. Developing different styles of poetry ... Some Classic Styles
    • Ode
    • Sonnet
    • Italian Sonnet
    • Haiku
    • Writing Haiku
  5. Developing different styles of poetry ... Following the Rules
    • Quatrain
    • Pantoum
    • Acrostic
    • 21st Century Visual Poetry
  6. Developing different styles of poetry ...Poetry for Story Telling
    • Developing a Story in Poetry
    • Planning a Story
    • Developing Your Voice
    • Ambience
    • Ending a Story
    • Epitaph Style
    • Monody
  7. Developing different styles of poetry ... Styles for Fun and Trickery
    • Funny Poems
    • Tongue Twisters
    • Limericks
  8. Getting your work published
    • Creative Writing Resources
    • Other Industry Resources
    • How and Where to Get Published
    • Self Publishing
    • Vanity Publishing
  9. The next phase ... how to continue to improve

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.



  • Describe the many different types of poetry, poetry forms and terminology
  • Identify a range of traditional styles used by well known poets
  • Develop an increasingly creative approach to writing poetry.
  • Write poems that fit a range of traditional styles used by well known poets
  • Write poems that follow certain defined patterns in the way words are arranged
  • Tell a story using poetry
  • Write poems that are tricky, funny or thought provoking.
  • Consider options for getting your work published – how and where
  • Plan and implement a process for improving the quality of poetry being written

Learn to Understand and Write Poetry in a Variety of Different Styles

There are many different styles of poetry. Poetry can be formal or informal, deep or light, complex or simple.There are styles that attract and amuse an uneducated person; and other styles that challenge the most educated person to fully understand. Here are some examples:

Poems that Tell a Story 

Monody – these are poems that lament the death (or the end of existence) of a person of thing.

Ballad style – these are poems that tell a story, usually constructed as a series of stanzas. Each stanza is usually two to four lines and there is usually a refrain.  Ballads are often used to tell stories that are derived from folk lore or historical events.  

Epitaph – These are short poems that commemorate the life of a deceased person, often on a tombstone. 

Classic Style Poetry 

Sonnet – This is a lyric poem of 14 lines, which may follow a range of different rhyming schemes.  For example: Italian sonnet, Shakespearean Sonnet 

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.”
- by William Shakespeare

Bear in mind Shakespeare was English and English weather is quite cool.  If he were to say the same thing in Australia, ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day’, the meaning would change quite dramatically.

Ode – An ode is a poem that praises someone, something or a place

Haiku – A haiku (also known as nature or seasonal haiku) is a Japanese verse, which does not rhyme. It consists of three unrhymed lines of five, seven and five syllables – 5, 7, 5 or 17 syllables in all.  It is usually written in the present tense and focuses on nature/seasons. We will cover haiku more in a later lesson but here is an example:

October breezes:
The old maple scattering
Haiku on the path.   
-by Alfred Corn

Monorhyme Poems
These involve all the lines have the same rhyme

Fun or Trick Poetry

Tongue Twisters - These involve lines that are difficult to pronounce when you speak the line fast.

Limericks - This is characterised by humour, rhyme and often nonsense.

Shape Poetry - Lines are written in a way that represents the shape of what you are writing about E.g. If your subject is a person, the poem is written so that the lines comprise the shape of a person

Palindrome - This is a poem where lines read the same whether read from start to finish or (backwards) from finish to start.