Free verse

Free verse does not have a set pattern of rhyme or rhythm. There are no rules about line length in free verse. You try to keep the words that belong together on the same line, but, sometimes the poet will break these words if he/she wants to create a visual shape to support the poem's message, or feeling that the poet wishes the reader to experience. The poet may wish to put special emphasis on a word he/she has used so he will that word a line to itself, or place it on the next line so the reader notices it or is surprised by the poet's use of the word . Often a poet will end a line because it feels right to him/her to do so. The poet chooses the length of each line and the length of the poem according to the message, or feeling he/she wishes to communicate to his/her reader. When free verse is read aloud the reader can hear the rhythm of the words that the poet has used in his/her poem.

After the Sea-Ship by Walt Whitman

After the Sea-Ship—after the whistling winds;

After the white-gray sails, taut to their spars and ropes,

Below, a myriad, myriad waves, hastening, lifting up their necks,

Tending in ceaseless flow toward the track of the ship:

Waves of the ocean, bubbling and gurgling, blithely prying,

Waves, undulating waves—liquid, uneven, emulous waves,

Toward that whirling current, laughing and buoyant, with curves,

Where the great Vessel, sailing and tacking, displaced the surface;

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