Learn the grammar and techniques involved in writing sonorous verse. Learn about famous poets and their poems. Enhance your poetry writing skills

Course Code: BWR109
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn the Grammar and Techniques Involved in Writing Sonorous Verse. 

Learn about famous poets and their poems. Enhance your poetry writing skills


Have you ever wanted to write poetry but lacked the confidence to do so? Perhaps you do write poetry but you are not terribly satisfied with the end product? Maybe you just adore poetry and like to be involved with it in some capacity? Whatever your reason, studying poetry is a passion many of us have. In studying this poetry course, you will learn to:
  • Write all types of poetry - serious, witty, funny, and so on
  • Develop your ability to write and understand different styles of poetry
  • Explore how you can use your poetry - at home, at work, for relaxation
Whatever you write has 'sound'. People hear your words in their heads, and so the sounds you create can draw people's attention to your message. Poets use a range of musical and figurative devices to achieve different effects. For instance, the rhythm and metre of the words used can be altered to emphasise words, create ambiance, build to a crescendo, and so forth. The study of rhythm, stress, and pitch in speech is called prosody. In poetry, the meter (or metre) is the basic rhythmic structure of a verse.
Normally when we read prose we do not pay too much attention to the sounds the words make. We read the words silently. When we do this, we can lose a sense of the words as distinct things. Unlike prose, poetry is intended to be read aloud. It is not just an abstract means of communicating ideas but it is also meant to be appreciated physically - like a piece of music, or other art forms. Part of enjoying poetry is reading it out loud, even just to oneself.
The process by which we create a poem may be more important than the actual poem we create. Studies have shown that creativity can emerge after periods of depression and loneliness. Creative expression can benefit us in many ways. For example, Elizabeth Layton created line drawings to develop her talent and used her creativity to overcome her depression. As you will learn, many great poets may have experienced depression and loss. Dylan Thomas wrote the famous poem "Do not go gentle into that good night" as a plea to his father not to allow death to take him away.
This course celebrates one of the finest of the arts. It is an art which you can take with you and practice anywhere. You don't need a paintbrush or instrument to enjoy poetry. Once learnt, a poem can remain in your long-term memory forever. It can evoke a personal meaning which no other art form is capable of.    

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Nature and scope of poetry
    • Brief description of the many different types of poetry
    • Poetic devices (Rhyme, Assonance, Alliteration, Personification, Onomatopoeia, Imagery, Symbolism, Similie, Metaphor)
    • Styles that tell a story (Monody, Ballad, Epitaph)
    • Classic styles (Sonnet, Ode, Haiku)
    • Monorhyme
    • Trick poems (Limerick, Tongue Twister, Shape Poem, Palindrome)
    • Styles classified according to arrangement of lines (Quatrain Style, Pantoum, Free Verse, Villanelle, Clerihew, Damante, Acrostic Style)
    • Keeping a notebook
    • Editing
    • Terminology
  2. The Work of Other Poets
    • Shakespeare
    • Kendall
    • Batejeman
    • Angelou
    • Shelley
    • Dickinson
    • Edgar Allen Poe
  3. Encouraging your creativity.
    • Exploring creativity
    • Understanding your own creativity
  4. Developing different styles of poetry A (Some Classic Styles)
    • Ode
    • Sonnet
    • Italian Sonnet
    • Haiku
    • Writing Haiku
  5. Developing different styles of poetry B (Following the Rules)
    • Quatrain
    • Pantoum
    • Acrostic
    • 21st Century Visual Poetry
  6. Developing different styles of poetry C (Poetry for Story Telling)
    • Developing a story in poetry
    • Planning a story
    • Developing your voice
    • Ambience
    • Ending a story
    • Epitaph style
    • Monody
  7. Developing different styles of poetry D (Styles for Fun and Trickery)
    • Funny poems
    • Tongue twisters
    • Limericks
  8. Getting your work published (how and where)
    • Creative writing resources
    • Other industry resources
    • How and where to get published
    • Self publishing
    • Vanity publishing
  9. The next phase (how to continue to improve)

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


There are a number of standard styles or formats which poems tend to follow. These include:


This is a poem that tells a story, and is constructed as a series of stanzas. Each stanza would typically be two or four lines and usually a refrain. Ballads often tell stories that are derived from folk lore or historical events.

This is a poem that laments the death (or cessation of existence) of a person, animal or thing.

This is a short poem commemorating the life of a deceased person, usually on a tombstone.

2) Classic Styles


This is a poem that praises or speaks highly of something, for example a place or a person.

A lyric poem of fourteen lines, which may follow any of a variety of different rhyming schemes. There are a variety of different types of sonnets (e.g. Italian sonnet, Shakespearean sonnet).

Haiku (also called "nature" or "seasonal" haiku) is Japanese verse consisting of three non-rhyming lines of five, seven, and five syllables, or 17 syllables in all. Haiku is usually written in the present tense and focuses on nature or seasons.

This is where all the lines have the same rhyme.

3) Fun & Trick Poems

Tongue Twister

These involve lines that are difficult to pronounce when you speak the line fast.

Limerick Style
This is characterised by humour, rhyme and often nonsense.

Shape Poetry
Lines are written in a way that represents the shape of what you are writing about e.g. if the subject of the poem is a person, the poem is written so that the lines create the shape of a person.

This is a poem where lines read the same whether they are read from start to finish, or backwards from finish to start.

4) Poems Classified According to How Lines are Constructed and Arranged

Quatrain Style

Comprises a block of four lines of verse that adhere to a specific rhyming pattern.

A pantoum is a poem that joins together a series of quatrains.

Acrostic Style
This is poetry that is constructed in such a way that when the first letter of each line is taken, and those letters compiled together; they will spell one or more words. The words spelled are often the same as the title.

Free Verse
Free verse is irregular. Content is free of traditional rules - free from fixed meter or rhyme.

A villanelle is a nineteen-line poem consisting of a very specific rhyming scheme.

Who can benefit from taking this course?

Anyone interested in writing poetry or poetry analysis.

Writers seeking to improve their prose, or develop a lyrical voice and/or tone.

Children's writers looking to better understand rhyming schemes and how to implement rigid or flexible structures in children's writing.

Writers looking to develop their creative process, or enhance their existing creative process.

People looking to engage in reflection, meditation, and healing through writing.

At the end of this course you will:

  • Understand the idea behind different types and structures of poetry
  • Understand how to listen to self and engage in creative ideation and reflection
  • Understand how to draw inspiration from everyday events using techniques such as defamiliarisation
  • Begin to develop your individual voice
  • Discover more about who you are

Next steps:


Want something more in depth? Learn about our certificates and higher qualifications in writing and journalism here.

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Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
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Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Rachel Syers

Rachel has worked as a newspaper journalist for the past 15 years in a range of roles from sub-editor and social columnist to news reporter, covering rounds such as education, health, council, music, television, court, police, Aboriginal and Islander affairs, and agriculture.
Her current role is Fashion Editor, features writer and features sub-editor with The Gold Coast Bulletin. She has co-authored a successful biography "Roma: From Prison to Paradise" about former prisoner-of-war turned yoga guru, Roma Blair, as well as freelanced as a writer, reviewer and researcher for Australian music and celebrity magazines such as WHO Weekly, Rave, Australasian Post and New Idea.
Rachel has a B.Journalism.

Tracey Jones

Widely published author, Psychologist, Manager and Lecturer. Over 10 years working with ACS and 25 years of industry experience.
Qualifications include: B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), Dip. SW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies).

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