Free Verse

Sam Rimpel

History of Poem

"Though free verse became a dominant poetic mode only in the twentieth century, Kirby-Smith finds its roots in seventeenth-century England. Beginning his study with writers such as John Milton---who was considered by T. S. Eliot to be the greatest writer of free verse in English---the author places recent and divisive topics in poetics in context, showing them to be attenuated remnants of issues first broached hundreds of years ago."

Purpose of Poetic Form

"Free verse does not have a set pattern of rhyme or rhythm. There are no rules about line length in free verse. You try to keep the words that belong together on the same line, but, sometimes the poet will break these words if he/she wants to create a visual shape to support the poem's message, or feeling that the poet wishes the reader to experience. The poet may wish to put special emphasis on a word he/she has used so he will that word a line to itself, or place it on the next line so the reader notices it or is surprised by the poet's use of the word . Often a poet will end a line because it feels right to him/her to do so. The poet chooses the length of each line and the length of the poem according to the message, or feeling he/she wishes to communicate to his/her reader. When free verse is read aloud the reader can hear the rhythm of the words that the poet has used in his/her poem. Think of it as spoken music."

Characteristics of Poetic Form

''Writing good, quality free verse is not very hard if you subscribe to several simple rules. Many people overlook these three elementary ideas, but, in looking at the larger scope of poetry, these concepts change bad poetry to good poetry. And best of all, they’re easy. These elements are not the first things people attribute to poetic devices, but they are the biggest improvements you can make in your free verse poetry writing. I'll go through the three basics which are forgotten the most, then touch on some other basics you are probably already familiar with.''


"Some kind of attraction that is neither

Animal, vegetable, nor mineral, a power not

Solar, fusion, or magnetic

And it is all in my head that

I could see into his

And find myself sitting there."

work cited

"What Is the Purpose of Free Verse and How Does It Work Well for Certain Types of Poetry?" Yahoo! Answers. Yahoo!, n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2014. <>.


On YourDictionary. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2014. <>.>.