Specific poetic forms have been developed by many cultures. In more
developed, closed or "received" poetic forms, the rhyming scheme, meter
and other elements of a poem are based on sets of rules, ranging from
the relatively loose rules that govern the construction of an elegy to the highly formalized structure of the ghazal or villanelle.
Described below are some common forms of poetry widely used across a
number of languages. Additional forms of poetry may be found in the
discussions of poetry of particular cultures or periods and in the glossary.
Among the most common forms of poetry through the ages is the sonnet,
which by the 13th century was a poem of fourteen lines following a set
rhyme scheme and logical structure. By the 14th century, the form
further crystallized under the pen of Petrarch, whose sonnets were later translated in the 16th century by Sir Thomas Wyatt, who is credited with introducing the sonnet form into English literature.
A sonnet's first four lines typically introduce the topic, the second
elaborates and the third posits a problem - the couplet usually, but not
always, includes a twist, or an afterthought. A sonnet usually follows
an a-b-a-b-c-d-c-d-e-f-e-f-gg rhyme pattern. The sonnet's conventions
have changed over its history, and so there are several different sonnet
forms. Traditionally, in sonnets English poets use iambic pentameter, the Spenserian and Shakespearean sonnets being especially notable. In the Romance languages, the hendecasyllable and Alexandrine are the most widely used meters, though the Petrarchan sonnet has been used in Italy since the 14th century.
Sonnets are particularly associated with love poetry, and often use a
poetic diction heavily based on vivid imagery, but the twists and turns
associated with the move from octave to sestet and to final couplet
make them a useful and dynamic form for many subjects.Shakespeare's sonnets are among the most famous in English poetry, with 20 being included in the Oxford Book of English Verse.
Shi (simplified Chinese: 诗; traditional Chinese: 詩; pinyin: shī; Wade–Giles: shih) Is the main type of Classical Chinese poetry. Within this form of poetry the most important variations are "folk song" styled verse (yuefu), "old style" verse (gushi), "modern style" verse (jintishi).
In all cases, rhyming is obligatory. The Yuefu is a folk ballad or a
poem written in the folk ballad style, and the number of lines and the
length of the lines could be irregular. For the other variations of shi poetry, generally either a four line (quatrain, or jueju)
or else an eight line poem is normal; either way with the even numbered
lines rhyming. The line length is scanned by according number of
characters (according to the convention that one character equals one
syllable), and are predominantly either five or seven characters long,
with a caesura before the final three syllables. The lines are generally
end-stopped, considered as a series of couplets, and exhibit verbal
parallelism as a key poetic device. The "old style" verse (gushi) is less formally strict than the jintishi, or regulated verse, which, despite the name "new style" verse actually had its theoretical basis laid as far back to Shen Yue, in the 5th or 6th century, although not considered to have reached its full development until the time of Chen Zi'ang (661-702) A good example of a poet known for his gushi poems is Li Bai.
Among its other rules, the jintishi rules regulate the tonal variations
within a poem, including the use of set patterns of the four tones of Middle Chinese
The basic form of jintishi (lushi) has eight lines in four couplets,
with parallelism between the lines in the second and third couplets. The
couplets with parallel lines contain contrasting content but an
identical grammatical relationship between words. Jintishi often have a
rich poetic diction, full of allusion, and can have a wide range of subject, including history and politics. One of the masters of the form was Du Fu, who wrote during the Tang Dynasty (8th century).
The villanelle is a nineteen-line poem made up of five triplets with a
closing quatrain; the poem is characterized by having two refrains,
initially used in the first and third lines of the first stanza, and
then alternately used at the close of each subsequent stanza until the
final quatrain, which is concluded by the two refrains. The remaining
lines of the poem have an a-b alternating rhyme. The villanelle has been used regularly in the English language since the late 19th century by such poets as Dylan Thomas,W. H. Auden, and Elizabeth Bishop.
Tanka is a form of unrhymed Japanese poetry, with five sections totalling 31 onji (phonological units identical to morae), structured in a 5-7-5-7-7 pattern.
There is generally a shift in tone and subject matter between the upper
5-7-5 phrase and the lower 7-7 phrase. Tanka were written as early as
the Asuka period by such poets as Kakinomoto no Hitomaro, at a time when Japan was emerging from a period where much of its poetry followed Chinese form. Tanka was originally the shorter form of Japanese formal poetry (which was generally referred to as "waka"),
and was used more heavily to explore personal rather than public
themes. By the tenth century, tanka had become the dominant form of
Japanese poetry, to the point where the originally general term waka ("Japanese poetry") came to be used exclusively for tanka. Tanka are still widely written today.
Haiku is a popular form of unrhymed Japanese poetry, which evolved in the 17th century from the hokku, or opening verse of a renku. Generally written in a single vertical line, the haiku contains three sections totalling 17 onji, structured in a 5-7-5 pattern. Traditionally, haiku contain a kireji, or cutting word, usually placed at the end of one of the poem's three sections, and a kigo, or season-word. The most famous exponent of the haiku was Matsuo Bashō (1644–1694). An example of his writing:
Fourth of July isn't all about barbecues and fireworks. It's
also about freedom, liberty and the birthday of our country. Teach your
kids about the history of Independence Day by reading books, quotes,
poems and other anecdotes.
Fourth of July quotes
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
~ The Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776
I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding
generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be
commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to
God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with
shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one
end of this continent to the other, from this time forward for
evermore. ~ John Adams
You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July
4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White
House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where
kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from
happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism. ~ Erma Bombeck
One flag, one land, one heart, one hand, One Nation evermore! ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
America is much more than a geographical fact. It is a political and
moral fact — the first community in which men set out in principle to
institutionalize freedom, responsible government, and human equality. ~ Adlai Stevenson
In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. ~ Thomas Paine
Fourth of July poems
I Hear America Singing
By Walt Whitman
I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,
The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day — at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.
The Landlord's Tale. Paul Revere's Ride By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
Schemes are sugar-coated pills,
They look young and yummy,
They dress up as baits
on a fishing pole,
Those who are caught
Decent fish swim in deep waters,
They are not easily fooled
by freely offered artificial treats.