A narrative poem often set to music, commonly with four-line stanzas rhyming abab or abcb with lines 1 and 3 in tetrameter and lines 2 and 4 in trimeter. The form was popular in the British Isles in the medieval period and later spread to North America and Australia. Some non-narrative poems are also written in traditional ballad stanzas, and some later ballads extended the traditional stanza to six lines.
A short history of the form with a link to a description of the ballad stanza.
A history of the ballad with many famous examples of the form. Includes instruction on how to write a ballad.
Ballad of the Goodly Fere
A famous modern literary ballad by Ezra Pound.
Ballads For Dummies
Simple instructions on how to write a ballad with a link to a prior lesson in how to write in meter and rhyme.
Connections: Poetry: Forms: The Ballad
A four-page description of the form with examples both old and new.
The Oxford Book of Ballads
176 selections by the anthologist Arthur Quiller-Couch. Indexed by title and first line.
Poetic Forms: The Ballad
A description and short history of the form, with examples, by Conrad Geller.
The Traditional Ballad Index
Annotated bibliography of folk ballads.
Last update:November 11, 2015 at 15:21:46 UTC