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Instructions for a Pyramid Poem

Updated April 17, 2017

A pyramid poem is a poem about a person, place or thing that is written in a pyramid or triangular shape. It starts with a single word in the first line and builds until the fourth line, which is the longest one in the poem. Typically taught in elementary and middle schools to help children with grammar and word choices, a pyramid poem is a carefree exercise in basic poetry. Following a simple formula, anyone can create a four-line pyramid poem.

Find a dictionary or a thesaurus to help choose words that will fit your poem's theme and formula.

Write down one noun in the centre of a piece of paper. This noun will be the theme of the pyramid poem and is the entire first line of the four-line poem. As an example, the first line could be "Rainstorm.

Write down two adjectives that describe the noun; centre them below the first line. Separate the two adjectives by a comma. The second line of "Rainstorm" could be "Wet, shivering."

Write down three action verbs, ending in "ing" (the participle form of the verb), that describe the noun; centre them beneath line 2. Follow the first two verbs with a comma. This is the third line of the poem. In "Rainstorm," line 3 could be "Hiding, running, waiting."

Write a short phrase or statement, or a combination statement and a question that relate directly to the noun in the first line of the poem. Center these words so the line becomes the base of your pyramid. This is the fourth and final line of the poem. Make sure the fourth line is not too long; six to eight is probably the right number of words. "Left my umbrella on the bus once again," could be the final line of "Rainstorm."

Write a final draft of the poem on a clean sheet of paper. Usually only the initial letter in the first word in each line is capitalised. "Rainstorm" will look like this except with each line centred:

Rainstorm

Wet, shivering

Hiding, running, waiting

Left my umbrella on the bus once again

Tip

Leaf through a dictionary or thesaurus before you start to write. Invite friends or family to join you in writing pyramid poems and take turns reading them. Read the poem aloud as a way to hear how it sounds.

Things You'll Need

  • Dictionary or thesaurus
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About the Author

Gwendolyn Filosa, a newspaper reporter since 1996, earned a bachelor's degree in English literature at Indiana University. Her work has been published in various daily newspapers through the Associated Press. She lives and writes in New Orleans, La.