Tips for Writing a Ballad Poem

You have probably heard of a ballad being a type of song, but a ballad can also be an intricate poem where the writer takes the reader on a journey through a story, or event that has happened in their lives. Writing a ballad is almost like writing a short story, but more elegant and concise, and is a great way to expand your abilities as a growing poet and here are some tips to start you off:

  1. Most often, ballads are stories about love, but you can make your ballad about any event that has deeply affected you. Ballads are regal ways for you to share any heartfelt experience, whether it is painful or one that touched you in a positive way. When picking your story, make sure that it has a distinct introduction, a plot with a problem, and resolution the problem and that you can write about these in the one short poem.
  2. The first line of a ballad is the most important because it introduces the reader to the story. In order to reel the reader in, it might be a good idea to open up the poem with a question or use the word “you” so that the reader feels like they are truly inserted into this moment in your life. This way, the reader can directly relate to and feel the emotions you describe in the poem.
  3. For this type of poem, you can pick your own rhyme scheme. Most commonly, though, there are four groups or stanzas, of three lines with an AAB rhyme scheme where the first two lines rhyme and the third line is different.
  4. Something that makes a ballad a unique type of poem is that they have choruses. Typically, the third line of each stanza is the chorus, so you need to make sure that line is something that is relevant throughout the entire story, because it will be repeated many times. So, your poem’s rhyme scheme will most likely look like AAB CCB DDB EEB, with the same line at the end of each stanza. 
  5.  Since ballads tell stories while using rhyme and repetition, they are great for turning into songs. Maybe you can try putting music to your new poem, or simply giving the poem to someone you love. Whatever you choose to do with your ballad, make sure to post it to Power and maybe you will inspire more poets to write this type of poetry!


Helpful Links

How to write a poem about a memory
Submit your own poem
Be inspired
Check out other poets on the site