Formula Poems

I Am Poem

1st Stanza

I am (two special characteristics you have).
I wonder (something you are actually curious about).
I hear (an imaginary sound).
I see (an imaginary sight)
I want (an actual desire).
I am (the first line of the poem repeated).

2nd Stanza

I pretend (something you actually pretend to do).
I feel (a feeling about something imaginary).
I touch (an imaginary touch).
I worry (something that really bothers you)
I cry (something that makes you very sad).
I am (the first line of the poem repeated).

3rd Stanza

I understand (something you know is true).
I say (something you believe in).
I dream (something you actually dream about).
I try (something you really make an effort about).
I hope (something you actually hope for).
I am (the first line of the poem repeated).

Line 1: Noun River
Line 2: 2 adjectives that describe the noun Clear, wonderful
Line 3: 3 gerunds that describe the noun Slapping, whirling, flowing
Line 4: 1 complete, related sentence The river is cold.
Line 5: Noun -- synonym of the noun in line 1 Water

Line 1: Noun A Winter
Line 2: 2 adjectives that describe Noun A Rainy, cold
Line 3: 3 gerunds that describe Noun A Skiing, skating, sledding
Line 4: 2 Nouns related to A + 2 Nouns related to B Mountains, wind, breeze, ocean
Line 5: 3 gerunds that describe Noun B Swimming, surfing, scuba diving
Line 6:

2 adjectives that describe Noun B

Sunny, hot
Line 7:

Noun B


Persona Poem
Line 1:

First name/nickname of the person in the poem


Line 2:

4 adjectives which describe the person

tall, energetic, happy, intelligent

Line 3:

X of Y formula, describing an important
relationship to the person

mother of Danny

Line 4:

3 things s/he loves

who loves music, books and fresh air

Line 5:

3 things that scare her/him

who is afraid of President Bush, spiders and heights

Line 6: 3 things s/he wants to see who wants to see Latin America, the end of poverty and summer
Line 7: resident of...+ place/time/concept resident of this moment
Line 8: last name of the person in the poem Thompson

Line 1 five syllables I saw a leaf fall Night noise, I'm awake
Line 2 seven syllables Then rise again to the branch far off wailing haunting me
Line 3 five syllables. A moth had fooled me. Coyote sings his song.


-T. Geoghegan


The Haiku (Pronounced hi-coo) comes from Japan. It is a form of poetry that usually paints a picture of something in nature. Many haiku start with a vivid image in the first line followed by an interesting transition in the second line which leads to a different image or thought in the third line like in the samples above.

With Haiku, rhyme is not as important as the form. The form is the 5-7-5 syllable pattern of the lines. Although nature is the subject of traditional haiku, any other subject can be addressed using the form. Remember that the form says something about your subject in addition to the words you choose to use. The simplicity of the haiku form can be a big part of the poem's message to its audience.

Let's not forget found poems, tanka, acrostic poems, etc.

Poetry Links

How to Write a Ballad

30 Days of Poetry

Poetry Assignments

BBC Poetry on Display-- Poems to Make, Watch, and Hear

Assignments OR Projects for Reports OR Home

Updated 10 Februry 2017.