Lesson 5: Writing Free Verse
Free verse is non-rhyming poetry. It is not necessarily easier or better than rhyming poetry, just different. It is just one of the types of poetry under the blanket of non-rhyming poetry and is basically a no-rules free-for-all. We will be looking at one of my favorite examples of free-verse by one of my hands-down favorite poets.
Earth, My Likeness
by Walt Whitman
EARTH, my likeness,
Though you look so impassive, ample and spheric there,
I now suspect that is not all;
I now suspect there is something fierce in you eligible to burst forth,
For an athlete is enamour’d of me, and I of him,
But toward him there is something fierce and terrible in me eligible to burst forth,
I dare not tell it in words, not even in these songs.
Whitman has no meter, no rhyme, no pattern. Yet, he is so emotionally deep with strong sentiment. He states a clear message with the language he uses; he does not worry himself with fancy language, though he does have a strong metaphor throughout the poe.
Assignment: For this month’s assignment, you will write at least two free verse poems. My suggestion for one of them would be to use the detailed prose you have already written, and just re-arrange your thoughts into poetry lines. Another hint: most free-verse poems tell a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. It is a good idea to keep these in mind while you prepare to write.