Aug 19, 2010

Free Verse

Free Verse (from the French vers libre - free line or verse) poetry is written without predetermined rhyme or meter. The flow of natural speech is the most effective tool in the Free Verse. Its use conveys the illusion of spontaneity, and is frequently used to express the unique feeling of personal poems.

It originated in late 19th century France among poets who sought to free poetry from the metrical regularity of the alexandrine. The term has also been applied by literary critics to the King James translation of the Bible, particularly the Song of Solomon and the Psalms. The form is closely associated with English and American poets of the 20th century who sought greater liberty in verse structure.

Some believe Free Verse can be more difficult to create than metered verse – the line length, word choice and placement become an extension of the poet even more so without the rules of predetermined patterns. In moving from line to line, the poet's main consideration is where to insert line breaks. Some ways of doing this include breaking the line where there is a natural pause or at a point of suspense for the reader.

The rhythm or cadence of free verse varies throughout the poem. Though the words don't rhyme, they flow along their own uneven pattern.


The example of Free Verse I came up with was so short that I checked back in my files and found a second, longer one as well. This is a form I have many examples of. :-)


In the heart of chaos
She sits
Wrapped in silence
Ignoring the ebb and flow
Oblivious to the changing currents
An oasis of stillness.



Under the Tree

The dreamer sits on a cushion of grass,
rough bark at her back, the hush
enfolding her like a shroud.
Time passes on a breath of fresh cut summer.
Silence whispers through the trees
while the sun is filtered
through a thousand shades of green.

An eruption of starlings guide
a cat’s passage,
through the wild,
into the green.
The all clear is sounded
by the rusty clothes line screech of a jay.

The shadows dance to the chime of the fountain
as they pull away, away, into the dusk.
A host of minuscule vampires attack,
vanishing in a splinter of moonlight,
fleeing the rose garden perfume
wafting on the deepening dark.
A shooting star,
the descent of a dream’s promise.

2 comments:

Erica Chapman said...

Your poem is beautiful. I love free verse. If I write, that's usually what it is ;o)

C R Ward said...

Thanks Erica!

I used to do a lot of free verse, before I started doing all these crazy forms. :-)