Just like other forms of writing, poetry needs to be organized. Stanzas provide a structure for that organization. Each stanza is made up of a varying number of lines, just like paragraphs are made up of sentences. Each line can be a phrase or complete sentence, depending on the format of the poem. When put together in a stanza, these lines convey a larger idea.
Many poets use one of these common formats to create stanzas. Certain types of poems also use a combination of them.
A couplet is a set of two lines that usually rhyme.
© Maranda G. Brice
When the sunny skies turn from blue to gray,
I can't help but wonder just what you would say?
I wonder if you know how many lives you have touched.
Do you know that people here love you so much?
Can you even know how many dreams you made come true,
Or if you can hear the voices saying I love you?
Do you know how many lives you have changed
And how many lives you completely rearranged?
I wish I could have just one more year,
Because I can't picture the rest of my life without you here.
Just another chance to spend the night and share a laugh.
Another day of school with you is what I'd like to have.
Do you know you'll be greatly missed by us all?
Just one more time I want to hear your voice when I call.
Just one more laugh, one more time to see you walk through the door.
Another smile, another story, another hug, another day...just one more.
Examples of Poems with Couplets
A tercet is a set of three lines that may or may not rhyme.
© Patricia A. Gordon
Everyone, young or old,
Needs someone to listen
As their stories are told.
The difference is yours to make.
A minute from your busy day
Is all it would take.
Take a minute and lend an ear.
To what you hear.
Take a minute and you will see
Just how powerful
Listening can be.
Take a minute to offer a smile and a touch.
Means so much.
Take a minute and simply be kind.
A friend for life
May be what you find.
Examples of Poems with Tercets
A quatrain is a set of four lines that may or may not rhyme.
© Andres Diaz
With a symphony of colors
Spread on her wings,
She strolls in the garden
With a light footprint.
She smile to the flowers,
She flew by the pond,
And freshen her breath
By kissing the rose.
Examples of Poems with Quatrains