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How to Write a Limerick, Diamond & Haiku Poem

by Kathryne Bradesca, Demand Media
    Haiku writers capture the intensity of nature's moments.

    Haiku writers capture the intensity of nature's moments.

    Many forms of poetry follow a specific format for words, syllables and rhyme. Writing poetry can help you can gain confidence as you play with the language and think creatively about specific topics. All poetry benefits from sensory words and strong action verbs while being faithful to the particular rules of the poetic form.

    Limerick

    A limerick is five lines long with the rhyme scheme aabba. This means that lines 1, 2 and 5 rhyme with each other, and lines 3 and 4 rhyme with each other. They also have a bouncing rhythm. Limericks are meant to be funny, and often employ elements of literature such as hyperbole, onomatopoeia and alliteration. The first line usually sets up the idea of the poem, and the last is generally the punchline. Although sometimes bawdy, outlandish limericks bring humor and rhyme to the world of poetry.

    Synonym Diamond Poem

    A diamond, or diamante, poem is a seven line poem written in the shape of a diamond that uses very specific parts of speech for each line. Lines one and seven are very short, consisting of a single noun. These nouns should be synonyms in a synonym diamante poem. Line two contains two adjectives describing the original noun. Line three features three verbs relating to the noun, and line four consists of four nouns that rename the original. The diamond takes shape as you again write three verbs in line five and two final adjectives in line six before adding the last noun for line seven.

    Antonym Diamond Poem

    The antonym diamante poem is fundamentally the same as the synonym version, but creates the shift from the original noun in line one to its opposite in line seven across the poem. Lines two and three contain adjectives and verbs respectively. Line four contains four nouns; the shift from the noun in line one to the noun in line seven can begin here in this line, often by listing ideas that work for both the beginning and the ending noun. Line five contains three verbs and line six contains two adjectives that describe the noun in line seven.

    Haiku

    A haiku is an ancient Japanese poetic form that generally deals with nature. It features simplicity and an intense focus. A haiku is three lines long with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line and five syllables in the last line. Students may want to brainstorm for this poetic form outside so they can feel, hear and see nature before they write. The sparse amount of words demands careful thought and creation.

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    About the Author

    Kathryne Bradesca has been a writing teacher for more than 15 years. She has also contributed to newspapers and magazines such as "The Morning Journal" and "The Ignatius Quarterly." Bradesca received a master's degree in teaching from Kent State University.

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