Writing Tip: Form: Free Verse Poetry

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Free verse poetry does not follow a specific form. It is free from the constraints of traditional poetry structures and there are no specific rhyming patterns to remember: you can choose exactly what to do, how to lay it out and whether or not to rhyme. However, free verse poetry still takes on the form that you give it.

When you are writing free verse poetry, you are able to decide on the form that your poem takes. A pattern will begin to emerge as you write, whether in the rhythm, line lengths, sound or stresses. This could be based upon the feeling of your poem and the emotions you wish your readers to feel (such as short, one-worded lines for emphasis). You will establish the rules of your poem as you create it.
The line break is your ultimate tool to do this: you are free to choose when to end the line. As you are not told when to end the line in free verse poetry, this is the biggest challenge for the writer. You must make the decision about your own poem. Move line breaks around to understand the feeling of your poem and see how it can change – discover the impact that long lines and short lines have on your words and arrange them in the most effective way.

If you write a great free form poem that you love the sound or rhythm of, then don’t forget to note down the form. You can always come back to it later and write another poem in that same form. Free verse poetry should not simply be created out of thin air, it should be studied and reinvented, with each line break and every word scrutinized to ensure that the best structure has been used.

Written by: Laura Clark

* Laura is a 23 year old English woman with a history degree residing in the UK. She has been writing for many years and enjoys writing horror/fantasy stories, as well as poetry. You can view her work at: https://inspiredstoriesandpoems.wordpress.com/

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