Why Do I Write: Free Verse


I’ve been asked a couple of times why I don’t bother to rhyme most of my poems.

The simple answer is that I’m really bad at it. Honestly, I have very few poems that do rhyme and are actually decent. And if they rhyme and are actually decent, ten bucks says I’m being a smart ass. The only times I choose to rhyme is when I’m mimicking or writing some kind of short satire or parody. If I’m trying to be direct and obvious about something, or emotional, or real and deep into the subject it has to be in free verse.

There’s no easy reason for that. Part of it is that I don’t really have the knack for it. Part of it is that I feel like it is constricting to me personally, and I’m not able to open up as much if I have to subscribe to a particular kind of form or verse structure. Part of it is that I like playing with lines more than words and I feel like if I try to juggle both at the same time I’ll just have the poetic equivalent of crap hitting the fan. Or just plain crap.

I have nothing against poets who do rhyme. We have a guy in my school’s poetry club that can do more damage with a well-placed couplet than I could ever do with a page-long rant. Or a billy club, for that matter. If you feel like, as a fellow poet, that I would dissaprove of you just because you are more ‘traditional’ in a rhyming sense then please stop thinking nonsense. There’s nothing I enjoy more than a really good rhyme (Mostly because I know I myself could never do it.)

What do you all think? Do you prefer one over the other? Do you like to write one kind but would rather read the other kind? Do you hate a certain poetic form so much that you’ve banned it from a thirty-mile radius of you? Do you think poetry is lesser than prose, or visa versa? I’d like to hear YOUR takes on writing forms!

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6 thoughts on “Why Do I Write: Free Verse

  1. I don’t think a poem needs to rhyme. In many ways sometimes it feels as though people get too caught up with trying to rhyme they miss the bigger thing.

  2. Form poetry is a little archaic, but can be a powerful tool and requires a very different skill set. You can rhyme free verse if you really want to. Internal rhyme, consonance and assonance are some tools that you might want to play with.

    • It’s nice to see that I’m not the only one who thinks this way! Though I really don’t want to bash rhyme too much- the poets who can do it well really get their point across beautifully, in my opinion. I just know that it’s not my style 🙂

  3. Forms are like practicing your cursive letters as a young elementary student. It gives you the structure and tools to know how to write. I personally love the challenge of form, though I mostly write in free verse. You do have to work at form, but it is very rewarding if you write something like a villanelle or a sonnet. Good blog. I enjoyed your posts

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