Free Verse

Free Verse
Free verse poetry does not have a set pattern of rhyme, rhythm, or length; however, the structure of the poem can be as important as the words themselves. Typically, the words that belong together will be on the same line, yet sometimes this guideline can be broken in order to create a visual shape that supports the poem’s message or feeling. Also, putting a word on a line of its own can be an effective method of emphasizing an idea by drawing readers’ attention to it specifically. Further, the sound of the poem is an important aspect to consider when crafting the text. Think of the poem as spoken music. It should flow and be aurally appealing.

A free verse poem can be on any topic. It can tell a story, describe a person/object/feeling. It can have a message. It can be funny/sad/sentimental. The poem can be whatever the poet determines is most appealing and best captures the emotion/image she is attempting to portray through words.

The language of a poem should show, not tell. Instead of writing, “He was handsome,” note that, “I questioned reality as my eyes took in his chiseled jaw, impish grin, and emerald eyes, which shown with a light only possible in dreams.” By showing through description, the reader will be left with a much stronger impression and clearer picture.

Free verse poetry captures images, conveys meaning and emotions through the use of lyrical phrases, often taking the form of figurative language devices such as metaphors, similes, and personification.

(Lesson adapted from The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development)

From "After the Sea-Ship"
by Walt Whitman (1819-92)
After the Sea-Ship—after the whistling winds;  
After the white-gray sails, taut to their spars and ropes,
Below, a myriad, myriad waves, hastening, lifting up their necks, 
Tending in ceaseless flow toward the track of the ship: 
Waves of the ocean, bubbling and gurgling, blithely prying,
Waves, undulating waves—liquid, uneven, emulous waves,  
Toward that whirling current, laughing and buoyant, with curves, 
Where the great Vessel, sailing and tacking, displaced the surface; 
Larger and smaller waves, in the spread of the ocean, yearnfully flowing; 
The wake of the Sea-Ship, after she passes—flashing and frolicsome, under the sun,
A motley procession, with many a fleck of foam, and many fragments,
Following the stately and rapid Ship—in the wake following.

Fog by Carl Sandburg

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

No comments:

Post a Comment