Types of Poets

Since we have been talking about confessional and stand-up poets and come up with our own titles to label types of poets, I wanted to do some searching to see what other “types” or poets were out there. However, aside from this site (http://www.eskimopie.net/types.htm) in which the writer refers to herself in third person and essentially makes fun of all the types of poets she believes to exist in Sacramento from Slam Poets and Feminist Poets to WWW (Wealthy White Women) Poets and Obnoxious Poets (if you’re looking for a laugh, check out her definition of monkey poets), I could not find many classifications of poets based on their style or subject matter. I found mainly “types of poetry” instead of “types of poets,” and even those did not list confessional poetry, stand-up poetry, etc., but rather listed types of poetry forms, such as the haiku, sonnet, limerick, villanelle, sestina, ghazal, free verse, and even the tongue twister. Most of the sites that listed these forms seemed to be focused on educating on how poems work and what types of poems one can write, featuring line counts, rhyme schemes, and examples of each form. I was wondering if maybe this was what most of my research came to because as we said at the beginning of the semester, poetry is often taught and thought of (especially in lower grades) as something that fits into a specific form and must be analyzed to find its one correct, specific meaning rather than as something that has emotional value and intention and as something that can produce varying interesting experiences for both the readers and writers of it– unless perhaps I am just a bad Googler.

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2 Responses to Types of Poets

  1. Kristen Woodside says:

    You are not a bad Googler. I also searched for types of poets when we first got the assignment to come up with a name for a poet. I was having trouble thinking of a good name for a type of poet, so I thought maybe if I saw a list of the existing types, I might get some inspiration. I found the same thing: It was all about structure. Eventually I found this: http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/193 which I thought was a helpful resource.
    A theme I am finding as I read the poets’ narratives in Contemporary American Poetry is that they rarely talk about structure. I remember Addonizio talking about how she used these traditional forms to push herself creatively, but aside from that I do not recall any of them talking about haikus, sonnets, etc. In my opinion, there is a lot that can be done with structure in a poem. For example, in “The Woman Who Loves Insects” by Roripaugh, the way she spaces out the final three lines is really dramatic and vital to the reader’s interpretation of the poem, yet it does not fit a predetermined structure. I do not think these traditional forms are bad, but if students are learning that that is all there is to poetry, I think they have missed a great deal.

  2. Madeline Cahill says:

    Kristina,
    I found your post intriguing, because I too tried to Google different types of poets. But in doing so, I think I realized that maybe trying to label poets as one certain type is in itself limiting, similar to trying to fit a poem into a certain form. When we did the activity in class Wednesday, not one of us had the same label to put on the same two poets everyone analyzed. There were multiple labels that could easily fit to Addonizio’s style or vice versa Stephen Dunn. If the poet’s type is coming from how a reader perceives their work, I don’t think we’ll ever be able to find true type of poet, because there is no one true reading of a poem.

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