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What’s Your Poetry Personality? Find Out Which Poetry Movement Matches You!


What makes a good poem? How and why do you write poetry? Depending on which group of poets you ask, the answer varies. To learn which poetic style and school of thought best suits your own ideas about poetry and writing, take your “poetic pulse” with our quick quiz.

What’s Your Poetic School Of Thought?

Poetic personality #1 –


  • Are a dreamer
  • Appreciate nature
  • Believe in the power of the individual
  • Trust your instincts and follow them
  • Are fascinated by passion (and are passionate)

Congrats! You should be inducted into the Great Order of the Romantic Poets. There are no initiation fees, no rules to follow except those in your heart—but there is a lot of healthy debate among members. If you appreciate the simple life, this club is for you. The Romantic movement of the late 1700s was incredibly popular in poetry, and its influences are still felt today!

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Poetic personality #2


  • Love that live poetry readings have a special kind of energy not found on the page
  • Like to write in rhyme and play with the sounds of your words and lines
  • Want to change the world for the better through poetic expression
  • Don’t mind a little friendly competition to liven things up, and like hanging out with other poets
  • Think good poetry can be written by anyone, not just the formally educated

You’re an excellent candidate for slam poetry, a spoken-word poetry movement that came to prominence in the 1990s. Slam poetry contests are held all over the country. Think of enthusiastic people performing carefully crafted poems that play with the sounds of words and deliver strong, sometimes sociopolitical messages. That’s slam.

Poetic personality #3


  • Enjoy word association games like “when I say ‘tree,’ you say _____”
  • Mine your dreams for inspiration
  • Believe in the power of your unconscious mind to create art
  • Aren’t afraid of poems that other people say “don’t make sense”
  • Don’t like to box yourself into ordinary word use and traditional associations

Hello, surrealist poet! Finger iron rumpling disco flagballs! (See, we speak your language). Surrealist poets dig deep into the human consciousness for truths that aren’t hindered by the so-called contrivances of traditional poetry or of the conscious brain. If you’re into surrealism, you want to explore the fundamentals of your human existence and aren’t afraid of stripping away the mental scaffolding that makes narrative “make sense.” Read up on surrealist techniques.

Poetic personality #4


  • Are sentimental and maybe a little prone to melodrama
  • Love a long poem, especially if it tells a story with a moral
  • Aren’t afraid of weighty traditional forms with easy-to-memorize rhyme schemes
  • Think poetry can touch the heart and mind without sacrificing the entertainment aspect

Grab some hot chocolate and marshmallows: You’re a fireside poet, and you’re in good company with Longfellow, Holmes, and Bryant. Fireside poets can be crowd-pleasers, but don’t think that means you shy away from asking tough questions of your audience. Oh, and you also love rhyme.

Poetic personality #5


  • Are frequently guilty of “oversharing”; no topic is off-limits
  • Will mine your deepest secrets for the sake of art
  • Don’t necessarily need all the bells and whistles of some poetic forms to make an impact
  • Find that there’s something personally therapeutic about writing

Step into our office, have a seat on the chaise, and put up your feet: You’re a confessional poet. Confessional poets are brave in the extreme, not shying away from their most difficult inner conflicts—and the world’s better for it. Confessional poets opened up new discussions about issues that were (and are) being swept under the rug of social convention.

What Type Of Poet Are You?

There are many more schools of poetry: futurism, beat poetry, imagism, language poetry, Harlem Renaissance… We could go on. Find more schools of poetic thought here. And if you don’t feel like you fit into any preexisting poetry philosophy, that’s okay! You could be in the vanguard of an exciting new poetry form!

Writer QuestionsQUESTION: What poetic school of thought do you most identify with? Post it in our comments section. And if we haven’t listed your favorite poetry movement, please post it for others to see!

47 Responses to What’s Your Poetry Personality? Find Out Which Poetry Movement Matches You!

  1. Romantic, fireside and confessional. I think though I’ve messed around with others some too 🙂.

  2. Oh, a romantic and slam poet, most definitely! Although I don’t really feel I can define and limit myself… I am a poet.

  3. My poetry covers anything. When I was in college I began setting ideas to poetry. So what if one line didn’t match the others. I’d encompass the baseline idea and take a chance on it rhyming through-out. I have written a book of poetry already and it covers a mired of ideas.

    Maybe it’s because I write poetry for myself and if others like it, that’s ok. Love poetry is good if you can get to it’s essence. Poems that examine baseline human wants and needs are good also. Of course, even the lowly morning glories get my attention. Beauty is all around us; all we need do is to slow down and observe. I’m planning on publishing a book of poetry I call “Doing My Thing” but every time I think I’m through another idea crosses my mind. One day soon it’ll happen.

  4. Apparently, I’m a romantic, and a fireside, and a slam poet. The last is a bit surprising, because I always thought slam poetry was a near cousin to rap, which I detest.

  5. I am a hybrid of romantic and confessional poetry. I love to put myself out there with fiery, fearless thoughts.

  6. Just as many of the other poets have commented, I’m a combo of all categories…but I think the most fitting “personality” for me falls under the CONFESSIONAL POET. I started writing for therapeutic reasons in the first place and it’s morphed into a passion I never knew I possessed. I’ve really enjoyed strengthening my work and my “voice” by fearlessly dabbling in other writing styles.

  7. I’m a confessional poet. It really doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Although I have thrown in some surrealist stuff from time to time.

  8. I’d say #2+3, if I had to declare something on a form — although I’ve never believed in pledging allegiance to schools of thought or categories, which can end up being confining and constricting. I suspect that most folks combine any (or all) variations of some of these categories, depending on what they’re trying to achieve. To each their own, as they say.

  9. I am buying into insanity to meet madness but I can’t afford to pay attention!

    I am an eclectic pawn shop type of dark poet that just loves to write!
    You can see some of my work at Triond.com k kissel/ Authspot.com k kissel

  10. I love rhyme, believe in inspiration and the power of dreams, love long poems. I appear to fit most closely into the fireside poet category. Anyone interested in a twelve page epic narrative poem about a warrior and his trip through hell? I just happen to have one handy …

  11. Guess I fall mostly in the concrete category. Like to use word imagery to
    expound on ordinary facets of life. In doing so my writing may conjure different meanings to various individuals; like viewing a piece of expressionistic art.My goal is to awaken the senses and arouse cognitive thinking.

  12. I’m a little bit of everything but surrealist. Maybe in my life and behavior, but not in the poetry. I use rhyme, meter, word play, and I usually have a point to present. I’m still looking for Slam.

  13. As I was a student of English Literature and language, I had to read through many poets belonging to different age. But the romantic poets, specially, Keats, Shelly, Wordsworth, Byron and Metaphysical poet John Donne have shaped my poetic soul. For me, poetry is like an oasis.

  14. All of the styles seem to fit at different times, it is really dependent on the mood and inspiration.

  15. I connect with rhyme, energy, individualism especially when stated powerfully and with confidence and passion declared with meaning. I believe in the power of poetry.

  16. I’m predominately a romantic poet mixed with slam, that makes an environmental or social statemenmt.

  17. I would probably consider myself wihin the #1, #2 categories.
    I feel poetry is an avenue for one to voice their feelings in such a fashion that readers will enjoy that much, as to foster repeat visits to the poet’s residence.

  18. I identify with some aspects of #2 Slam, #4 Fireside and #5 Confessional and also with the New Formalism style of poetry. Stylistically my poems tend to be a mix of Fireside (as in being longer poems and also sometimes telling a story) and Slam (because I love to play with the sounds of the words, rhyming, and timing, and sometimes the subject matter matches this style also), structurally my work also resembles the New Formalism style sometimes, and often the topics of my poems are in the style of being Confessional. I guess I’m kind of all over the place depending on my mood, the subject, and how the poem comes to fruition in my mind. This is a great article, it was fun thinking about the different styles of poetry.

  19. I am a Romantic poet, but I “minor” in Surrealism… I can tell that a lot of thought went into this article, and I love the fact that I could see myself so clearly in the descriptions! Thanks!

  20. Very interesting. You have some different ways of looking at some “personalities.”

    Your Romantic movement would also include Post-Romantic and I would even add Idyllic and Pastoral to this as an offshoot.

    Your Poetry Slam also incorporates the Realist movement. Since you did not include a separate Realist movement, which is a significant movement in poetry, I’m assuming you included it here. However, there are a lot of Realists who would rather present poetry as written and not spoken, that’s a slight departure.

    Your Surrealism and Fireside hits the mark.

    With the Confessional poetry movement, I’d add in Sentimental poetry too.

    I would add one category to your list, the New Formalism movement, kind of spearheaded by Robert Frost and his ilk.

    > Enjoy metrical and rhymed verse
    > Appreciate the aesthetics of the world as it is
    > Aren’t afraid to experiment with vocabulary
    > Believe in the power of poetry to move things
    > Aren’t afraid to be called traditional

    All that being said, I am a very eclectic mix of all these poetry personalities having written many of each kind represented here. My preference and what I would have to call myself is:

    A Post-Romantic New Modern Semi-Formal Realist

  21. I think #3 comes close to my way of thinking/feeling/writing. Of course, I can relate myself to the other types, esp. 1 to 4.

  22. I’m type 4. I like the stories in rhyme and meter like Longfellow, Kipling, Robert Service, Alfred Tennyson

  23. I am a blend of romantic and confessional… But I do like to play with forms and rhyme schemes at times. It’s all about my mood when writing!

  24. I dabble in all movements mentioned, as most poets probably do. But I am primarily a confessional poet. Most of my work is catagorized as prose poetry for lack of rhyme or form.

  25. Even though I found myself connecting a little with each category, I have most of my characteristics matched with the confessional poetry. Very good article.

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