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!