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World Poetry Day

A quick guide on how to write your own limerick, couplet, haiku or acrostic poems

World Poetry Day

Today is World Poetry Day; the day celebrates poetry and the creativity of the human mind. The aim of the day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the chance to be heard.

UNESCO decided to celebrate the day in Paris in 1999 and ever since, the day has been thought of as being a day of celebration for poetry and the communication of various diverse cultures. UNESCO hopes that the day will help people to view poetry as a powerful art form, instead of one that is outdated.

To celebrate, why not try writing your own poem in English. Below are four different types of poems, with some examples, for you to try.

Types of poems


A limerick is a poem with 5 lines that has a rhythm where the first, second and fifth line rhyme and the third and fourth line rhyme (A-A-B-B-A). The first, second and fifth line are also longer, with a 7-10 syllable count, whereas the third and fourth line have a 5-7 syllable count.

Here is my attempt at a limerick:

Do you want to learn English with me?

Today is a special day, you see;

It is World Poetry Day,

So rhyming is the only way!

Why not write a poem about a tree?



A couplet poem has two lines of verse that rhyme and the couplet can stand alone as a two verse poem or it can form part of a poem (A-A-B-B-C-C). As well as rhyming couplets, the poem usually has a similar syllable count for each line too.

Here is my attempt at a couplet poem:


After a long, hard day at Twin

Students go home with a grin.


David knows a new word or two

And when to use ‘less’ and ‘few’.


At home, he meets his homestay host

Who offers him tea and toast.


David cannot wait to return

And he wonders what he will learn.



The traditional Japanese haiku poem has a small structure, with three lines. The first line has 5 syllables, the second line has 7 syllables and the third line has 5 syllables. A haiku also needs to have a meeting of two different but related images or ideas and there needs to be a seasonal reference in the poem.

Here is my attempt at a haiku:


Outside the snow falls

But inside it’s warm at Twin

So come in and learn



An acrostic poem doesn’t require structure or a certain syllable count, instead it spells out a word, by beginning each line with a certain letter, e.g. see my attempt below, it spells out TWIN.


Thousands of students come and go;

Whatever the weather, they arrive to learn English

In our Greenwich or Eastbourne school,

Now they’ve improved their English, we are sad to see them leave.