Category Archives: Ballad

What is a ballad?

You may already know the term ballad in relation to music.  A ballad in music is a slow song that conveys a lot of emotion.  The musical term ballad comes from the poetic form ballad, a poem that tells a story.

Typical features of a ballad:

  • a poem that tells a story
  • an event-driven poem
  • typically written using stanzas of four lines, with a rhyme scheme of abab or abcb
  • may feature dialogue as well as narration
  • may have a conversational style
  • may focus on lost love, tragic events, or the supernatural


Today’s class goal: to explore the similarities and differences between Anonymous’s “My Boy Willie” and Gwendolyn Brooks’ “We Real Cool.”