Duelyst Forums

Anyone with a poetry background help?


Hey off-topic, does anyone know any poetic structures that have a strong societal influence over their theme?
What I mean: Limericks are always funny and are almost always made as jokes.
Or how sonnets at one time were almost exclusively written by men for women (usually for romance).
Neither of these examples were strict rules for their respective poetic structures, just very powerful behaviors.
An example of a poetic structure where the meaning is actually important to it being considered… itself is the Haiku (common misconception… I think, maybe I’m wrong— irrelevant to the point); Haikus are supposed to be Zen, they can’t have meaning. Those that do would technically be considered Senryus.
… Anyways, I’d just like some suggestions because I want to write some poetry which has meaning or background that is ironic to the structure, like a very grim and dark limerick for example. Duelyst themed.


Everything has purpose. Words have meaning in and of themselves. There wouldn’t be any point to writing otherwise.

I only write freeverse these days. I find structure…too restrictive.

I would suggest studying some e.e. cummings.


Here are some examples I can think of: An elegy is a poem that mourns a person who has passed away and is recited at funerals. An epic is a poem that details a heroic or superhuman deed. An ode is a poem that praises or idolizes a person or a thing. A burlesque is a comedic poem that pokes fun at other, more serious works.


I’m sorry if this is already answered in your original post (I’m having a hard time understanding it), are you asking for a specific poem or just poems in general that fit the theme you are looking for?

If the latter, is it the content of the poem you are looking for that should have some significance or just the structure/grammer of the literature regardless of the actual content?

Also what is this significance meant to be specifically? Significant in describing a time period, describing something a bit more abstract like time, describing human nature, etc.


Sorry I know it was tough to understand, let me try to restate using responses given: I am looking for poetic forms, like villanelles, sonnets, ballads, ballades, limericks, Senryus, etc.
I am looking for forms that are defined by their structure (rhyme scheme, meter, repetition, a limit on length etc.) but which are mainly used as if they were defined by their content (about death, funny, about advice etc.)
An elegy would be a perfect example if it were defined by its structure (thanks for trying Halcyon) but sadly there is no definite structure for an elegy, they are defined by their content, about death and grieving; if they were defined by their structure then I would try writing happy elegies (elegys?).
The reason I can’t really help myself with this is that I’d have to know either historical usage of forms or if there is any strict modern usage for certain forms— what people are writing about today, and I’m new to poetry.
Thanks for the time.




Hey there @gam35,

In regards to haiku, senryu and Japanese poetry, here are some remarks:

  • Senryu is just a type of haiku, actually, which is supposed to be slightly sarcastic, funny or witty;
  • Haiku is actually the third (and last) stanza of a tanka poem. It began emerging around the late 17th century and became popular starting with the 18th century.
  • Tanka is a classical Japanese poetry form and was used since the 7th century.

Also, all these forms have meaning, but it’s very subtle, at least for non-Japanese people.It also must contain a kigo (word related to a season), a kireji (particle that splits the poem in 2 parts) and must follow the 5-7-5 syllable (not words) rule.

“flies away in Japanese”




Your best bet is probably the sonnet. It’s probably the best-known form in English, and with anything less well-known you risk people not understanding your subversion. “Heat” by Denis Johnson comes pretty close to subverting the genre; I might look there for a model.

In terms of structure, sonnets admit of varying levels of formality: they can be more freeform, limited by the number of lines alone; they can have different rhyme schemes; and they can have strict rhythmic, metrical requirements. Figure out the strictures you want to set for yourself and work from there.


Thanks for the example and suggestion; that is a good point about obscurity and I’m thinking the Sonnet would be my best bet… maybe I’ll do some reasearch on the Ballad as a secondary.


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