Philippine Poetry: Its Form, Language, and Speech

Poetry in the Philippines is not different from its other counterparts around the world. In the early 1900s, Filipino poetry celebrated romanticism, and several poems about love flourished.

Eventually, as the years went on, poetry became more formalist – the emphasis of the poetry is more on the form and language that the poet used, rather than the theme itself. Then, modern poetry sprouted, and nowadays, writers are more adventurous in their craft.

Elements of poetry used by local writers in their poems

  • Senses
  • Imagery
  • Diction
  • Rhyme Scheme
  • Idea of a speaker
  • Structure
  • Word order

Senses and images

These are used by the writers to describe their impressions of their topic or object of writing.

The writer uses carefully chosen and phrased words to create imagery that the reader can see through his or her own senses.

The kind of sense impressions in poetry are categorized in mainly the following:

  • Visual imagery
  • Olfactory imagery
  • Gustatory imagery
  • Tactile imagery
  • Auditory imagery


The denotative and connotative meaning of the words in a sentence, phrase, paragraph, or poem.

Rhyme scheme

The way the author arranges words, meters, lines, and stanzas to create a coherent sound when the poem is read out loud.

It may be formal or informal, depending on the way the poem was written by the poet.

Idea of a Speaker

The speaker in the poem is the voice that talks to the reader.

Sometimes, it refers to itself as “I” or “me” or, sometimes in the third person (she, he, his, her).

You should also note that the speaker is not necessarily the poet. The poet may have a different persona in mind while writing the poem and may not have taken the situations in the poem from his or her life experiences.


The arrangement of words and lines, either together or apart.

It also refers to the way the interdependent parts of it are organized to form a whole poem.

Word Order

The natural or unnatural arrangement of words in a poem.

A poet may use a word grammatically or not –  often called as a poetic license – and may invent words, too.