Block Form Poems

Tell all the truth but tell it slant

by Emily Dickinson

‘Tell the truth but tell it slant’ by Emily Dickinson is one of Dickinson’s best-loved poems. It explores an unknown “truth” that readers must interpret in their own way.

The poet composed this piece in a single stanza, making it a great example of a block form poem.

Anne Rutledge

by Edgar Lee Masters

‘Anne Rutledge’ by Edgar Lee Masters is an epitaph based on the life of someone who knew and loved Abraham Lincoln in her youth.

This poem is contained within a single block of text making it a block form poem.

My Garden — like the Beach

by Emily Dickinson

‘My Garden — like the Beach’ by Emily Dickinson is a beautiful, short poem. It compares the speaker’s garden to the beach and the summer to the sea. Read the full poem, with a complete analysis.

This is a block-form poem. Meaning the poem is contained within one stanza. In this case, the poem is only five lines long and suits the block form format quite well.

Opportunity

by Edward Rowland Sill

‘Opportunity’ by Edward Rowland Sill is a narrative poem that describes an imagined or real battle and a unique opportunity that presents itself.

All the lines are contained within a single stanza, making this a block form poem.

Character of the Happy Warrior

by William Wordsworth

‘Character of the Happy Warrior’ by William Wordsworth is a poem about what it means to be a “happy warrior” and what the elements of this kind of person’s life would be. 

This poem is one of many throughout the history of poetry that is written in block form. This means that all the lines are contained within a single stanza of text.

Each and All

by Ralph Waldo Emerson

‘Each and All’ by Ralph Waldo Emerson depicts nature as interconnected and dependent on all other living and non-living things. The poet uses a few clever examples to demonstrate why he sees the world this way. 

A good example of a blank form poem. It contains more than 50 lines in a single stanza.

Life in a Love

by Robert Browning

‘Life in a Love’ by Robert Browning is an obsessive love poem in which a speaker tells the person they’re in love with that no matter how many times they’re torn down; they’re always going to get back up. 

This is an obsessive and passionate love poem that's written in 21 lines. These 21 lines are contained within a single stanza of text, this means the poem is written in block form.

Columbus

by Joaquin Miller

‘Columbus’ by Joaquin Miller is a perfectly rhymed poem that narrates a few moments in Columbus’ voyage to the new world. It focuses on the hardship the crew had to endure. 

This poem is contained within a single stanza of text, meaning that it is written in block form. This is very common in poetry meaning that this little-known poem does not provide the best, most influencial example of the form.

Summum Bonum

by Robert Browning

‘Summum Bonum’ by Robert Browning is a fairly straightforward and memorable poem about love and how it is far more important, and valuable than any beautiful summer day or shining gemstone. 

This is a block-form poem, meaning that all the lines are contained within a single stanza rather than separated into stanzas of different lengths.

Jenny Kiss’d Me

by Leigh Hunt

‘Jenny Kiss’d Me’ by Leigh Hunt is a powerful declaration of happiness in the face of the passage of time. A great deal of joy can be found in a single happy memory, the speaker suggests. 

This short eight-line poem is contained within a single stanza, meaning it is written in block form. This works out quite well, considering the poem's length and simple acknowledgement of universal themes.

Behaving Like a Jew

by Gerald Stern

‘Behaving Like a Jew’ by Gerald Stern is a lyric poem with elements of an elegy. It includes poet’s understanding of how suffering and death should be approached.

This poem is contained within a single stanza of text, also known as block form. There are no line breaks that create stanzas.

We Rise

by Amanda Gorman

‘We Rise’ by Amanda Gorman is a beautiful and inspirational poem that explores women’s power. The poet emphasizes how important it is for women to raise each other and ensure everyone has a voice. 

This is a block-form poem, meaning it is contained within a single verse stanza. The poem's lines flow one after another, using literary devices like anaphora and enjambment.

A drop fell on the apple tree

by Emily Dickinson

‘A drop fell on the apple tree’ by Emily Dickinson is filled with joy. It describes, with Dickinson’s classic skill, images of the summer season and how a storm can influence it.

A Route of Evanescence

by Emily Dickinson

‘A Route of Evanescence’ by Emily Dickinson describes its subject through a series of metaphors, allusions, and images. But, never actually states that the subject is a hummingbird.

Apparently with no surprise

by Emily Dickinson

In ‘Apparently with no surprise,’ Emily Dickinson explores themes of life, death, time, and God. The poet takes the reader to a moving snapshot of life and death.

Courage

by Anna Akhmatova

‘Courage’ by Anna Akhmatova is a passionate poem about courage in the face of war. Specifically, Akhmatova was writing about World War II. 

February

by Gillian Clarke

‘February’ depicts a stunning and figurative encounter with Clarke’s familiar Welsh landscape on a snowy February day.

Frederick Douglass

by Robert Hayden

‘Frederick Douglass’ by Robert Hayden honors Douglass and speaks about a future in which all people, according to Douglass’ ideas of love and logic, will be treated equally without question.

From cocoon forth a butterfly

by Emily Dickinson

‘From cocoon forth a butterfly,’ also known as ‘The Butterfly’s Day,’ is a beautiful poem written by the American poet Emily Dickinson. This poem presents the themes of the vanity of life and oblivion.

If I can stop one heart from breaking

by Emily Dickinson

‘If I can stop one heart from breaking’ by Emily Dickinson is a selfless proclamation of one’s desire to help. The poet’s speaker offers help in a variety of ways in some cases to better her own life.

May-Flower

by Emily Dickinson

‘May-Flower’ is a beautiful short poem in which Dickinson uses her skill with imagery to depict a forest scene, a May flower, and its connection to the human soul. 

There is no Frigate like a Book

by Emily Dickinson

‘There is no Frigate like a Book’ by Emily Dickinson focuses on how joyful reading can be. The speaker compares reading to exploring and emphasizes its elements of escapism.

Victory comes late

by Emily Dickinson

‘Victory comes late’ by Emily Dickinson is a thoughtful and complex poem. It explores the ways people interact with God and religion.

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