Just My Type #13: Writing Poetry Based on Your Enneagram Type

Just My Type explores the ways our personality, fears and motivations impact our writing and, using personality types, provides suggestions for tailoring your writing practice to who you are as a unique, creative human.

Poetry is a beautifully diverse form of expression that allows writers to explore the depths of their emotions, thoughts, and experiences. It can also encourage writers to celebrate nature, embrace the seasons, and notice the small but poignant details of the world around them. Even for writers who don’t consider themselves to be poets, writing poems can be a great creative exercise and source of inspiration. Poetry can be a great supplement to your existing writing practice, providing practice for your description and metaphor skills, encouraging brevity in your writing, and helping you get unstuck when overwhelmed by the blank page. Just as each writer is unique, so are the many approaches to poetry, and our Enneagram type can guide us toward which poetry style and themes might suit us best. 


Type One

Ones are principled and perfectionistic. They strive for excellence and often see the world through the lens of improvement. As a One, structured poetry forms, such as sonnets or haikus, can provide a sense of order and discipline in your writing process. The syllable requirements of haikus can challenge you to think creatively and convey your thoughts succinctly. Similarly, sonnets and other forms with strict rules can encourage creative exploration while adhering to established conventions.


Type Two

Twos are warm, empathetic, compassionate, and always willing to lend a helping hand. As a Two, you may enjoy using poetry to explore themes of love, compassion, and relationships. Writing about your emotions and experiences with others can be therapeutic and inspiring. Free verse poetry can allow you to express your feelings authentically without the constraints of rhyme or meter. As someone who cares deeply for others, you may also enjoy writing an ode poem to someone or something special or important to you. 


Type Three

Driven and ambitious, Threes seek success and recognition. Performance poetry, spoken word, or slam poetry aligns well with Type Three’s charismatic and expressive nature. As a Three, these dynamic forms of poetry can allow you to captivate an audience, share your stories, and leave a lasting impact, fulfilling an innate need to be seen and heard. Even if you don’t want to perform your poem for an audience, it can be beneficial to your writing practice to try reading your poems aloud and focus on how they sound. 


Type Four

Fours are known for having deep emotions and a strong sense of identity. As a Four, you may naturally gravitate towards more introspective and expressive forms of poetry, such as confessional poetry, where you can delve into your own struggles and triumphs. This style’s raw and authentic nature can enable you to explore your unique experiences and embrace your emotions as a source of creative power.


Type Five

Intellectual and curious, Fives have a deep thirst for knowledge and understanding. They love to research and investigate niche or complex topics, often becoming experts with a deep understanding of subjects that fascinate them. As a Five, you may enjoy diving into the history and meaning behind a specific form of poetry, such as the rhyming couplets and ballads of the medieval period or Shakespearean-style sonnets, before practicing the form yourself. 


Type Six

Sixes are loyal, responsible, and often cautious in their approach to life. Sixes may enjoy writing poetry that explores anxiety or uncertainties. Tanka poetry, one of the oldest Japanese poetry forms, is traditionally a thirty-one-syllable poem written in a single unbroken line. This structured-yet-flexible format can resonate with Sixes, allowing them to feel safe creating authentically within the bounds of structure, while highlighting the need for flexibility and change.


Type Seven

Enthusiastic and adventurous, Sevens seek joy and new experiences. For Sevens, experimental poetry forms like found poetry or blackout poetry can lead to vibrant and imaginative poems. Found poetry involves rearranging existing texts or words to create new meanings. Blackout poetry, on the other hand, involves blacking out or removing words from a page of text to create a unique poem. These forms align with Sevens’ innate spontaneity and innovative nature, encouraging them to discover poetry in unconventional ways.


Type Eight

Assertive and decisive, Eights have a natural inclination toward strong and commanding forms of poetry. With its grand narratives and heroic characters, epic poetry can be an ideal outlet for Eight’s energy and passion. As an Eight, epic poetry can allow you to delve into complex themes of justice, leadership, and resilience, writing poems that resonate with your own strength and determination.


Type Nine

Nines are easygoing and typically prioritize harmony and peace above all else. As a Nine, you may enjoy exploring themes of unity, tranquility and peace in your poetry. Meditative poetry and other poetic forms that focus on nature and observation, such as pastoral poetry or haiku, can encourage you to slow down, observe the beauty of each moment, celebrate nature, and find peace within yourself and the world around you.



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