Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Free Verse Poetry

Written By Vanshika Jain (Grade 7)

A picture painted with just words. A blend of emotions and opinions presented on a page effortlessly. No rules set in stone limiting the flow of the pure words of the soul. These are the characteristics of free verse poetry, a kind of poetry with no ironclad rules, which originated in France, in 1886.

I started exploring this genre of poetry a few years ago, and at first, I didn’t get it. All my life, I had known that poetry is something that rhymes! But here I was, reading and trying my hands on a kind of poetry with no rules! I researched famous pieces and carefully observed the beauty of the poems and realized something. Like Robert Frost said, “Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” Learning Free Verse poetry taught me that poetry may or may not rhyme, have a rhythm or have a meter, it just has to be a piece of our soul conveyed to the reader.

Free verse poetry is popular as it has no meter or structure that you have to follow. The poet has the freedom to express their deepest thoughts in a flow without these kinds of barriers obstructing them. To people who are only familiar with rhymed, metered poems, this kind of poetry can be a little confusing. It might seem like a prose paragraph with line breaks, but there is actually a huge difference between them. In free-verse poetry, the words are wisely selected and arranged for the most flowery and figurative sound to the poem. The style of writing either expresses an emotion or a deeper message through the choice of words and many a time, the poet chooses to reveal the actual message clearly, and leaves the poem little more open-ended, thus leaving different impacts on different people. On the other hand, prose expresses a message, a piece of information or an event in a methodical writing style, usually clearly expressing all the facts. Free Verse is so beautiful as because it lacks the artificiality of normal poetry.

This style of poetry was popularized in the 19th Century due to the profound impact of the publication of Walt Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass’, his entire life’s work which he spent years revising. He is referred to as the Father of Free-Verse Poetry. It’s fascinating to think that these poems which are now so popular and admired, were actually looked down upon during the time of its publication. This collection of around 400 poems explores Whitman’s philosophy, his beliefs, life, the human race, the beauty of the wild and one’s role in it. The 20th Century saw the rise of the recognition of this kind of poetry, with various poets contributing to it, and resulting in its current popularity. Some famous poets of this time include T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, Carl Sandburg and so many more.

Free Verse has impacted me in ways no one can imagine. It helped me express my true feelings and who I truly am, something which normal poetry hadn’t done before. Sometimes our hearts, our souls and our brains, all just want to express something, but we restrict and add an artificial filter to the thoughts by the confines of rules. All forms of poetry are beautiful, and poetry is, after all, just a medium to express thoughts. I, like all those who enjoy complete freedom, prefer free verse, but others, who like more organised and pleasing poetry can have their own opinions. Isn’t that the beauty of poetry?

Featured Image Courtesy – Read Poetry

Vanshika Jain
Vanshika Jain
As an avid reader, I love writing stories. During the whole lockdown, books have been my best friends. I like writing non-fiction, fantasy and mystery stories. BEST OUT OF WASTE. How I love that slogan! I have made many crafts out of waste including a swing, slide and a well.


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