How to Write a Limerick, Diamond or Haiku Poem

Aspiring poets and literature students need to know how to write a limerick, diamond or haiku poem. Each form of poetry is unique to the culture from which it comes and features rules that must be followed. Ultimately, each form of poetry requires form and substance to create a mental and emotional picture. Not every form of poetry is for every poet, so do not force the style if it does not work for you.

How to Write a Limerick

Decide on a subject for your limerick. Limericks are among the most basic forms of poetry. You must follow the AABBA pattern of rhyming.

Rhyme the first, second and fifth lines with one another. Rhyme the third and fourth lines with each other.

Read your limerick aloud to test the cadence. Be careful not to force a rhyme--limericks work best when they flow naturally. Example: Shirley came to see / the forest of one tree / she walked the land / until grass became sand / there she found her answers in the sea.

How to Write a Diamond Poem

Create a shape when you write a diamond poem. The key to this is to focus on the shape of the words as well as the contents.

Write a minimum of seven lines for a diamond poem. The model to follow is one noun / two adjectives / three verbs / four nouns / three verbs / two adjectives / one noun. Lines 2 and 3 should refer to Line 1. Lines 5 and 6 should refer to Line 7. Line 4 should be applicable to both.

Practice writing the diamond poem, and check it visually as well as for content. Words that are too long can create a lopsided diamond and detract from the effect of the poem.

How to Write a Haiku

Write free verse. Haiku is a Japanese form of poetry that involves free verse, usually focused on nature, that follows a stylistic pattern.

Format the verse's first line to five syllables, the second to seven syllables and the third to five syllables.

Read your haiku aloud to test for cadence. Example: Branches break in wind / the willow bends in the wind / trees break willows bend.

  • Practice your meter and syllables. Do not substitute and think shorting or adding a syllable to a haiku or shifting a limerick's rhyming cadence is OK. When you change the form, you change the style of poetry.
Items you will need
Paper Pen Word processor
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