Free Verse vs. Blank Verse

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"Free verse (from the French "vers libre"), also called open form verse, is distinguished from traditional versification in that its rhythms are not organized into the regularity of meter; most free verse also lacks rhyme. The term should not be confused with blank verse, unrhymed iambic pentameter. What distinguished free verse from prose? One of its main features is its deliberate division of the lines, which may consist of very long units or of single words, and which may be divided in mid-sentence or even mid-word." (Hamilton 239)

I used to think that free verse and blank verse were the same (and from my other blog you know what my opinion about blank verse writers used to be). Free verse was another form that I used to think was just an easy way out for writing poetry. It just seemed that it was too easy to throw a bunch of random words or thoughts together and call it free verse because you couldn't give it rhyme or rhythm. I used to hate writing free verse more than any other form of poetry (that was before I was introduced to the idea of writing a sonnet this year :) ). Now, as I said about blank verse, I have a greater appreciation for free verse because it can still create a powerful message or image with out rhyming. I think my distaste for free verse was caused by students in high school who would write a bunch of random sentences right before a poem for English class was due and call it free verse.

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2 Comments

Ally Hall said:

You know, I used to think free verse was just an easy way out of writing poetry, too. However, now that I think I've conquered a sonnet (or at least a crappy attempt at a sonnet) I have much more respect for the free verse, or at least a poem where I'm not really confined into a strict meter or rhyme scheme.

And I used to get a lot of crap in my creative writing class my sophomore year for getting a 100% in the course. But, unlike a majority of my peers in the class, I really enjoyed the writing and editing process and took my time instead of just throwing together a piece of crap "free verse poem" in the five minutes before the teacher came to class. So don't worry -- I'm with you there.

Itohan said:

free verse need to be be known by all literary students

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