The Anatomy of Poetry

The Anatomy of Poetry

[Free verse, Blank verse, and Rhyme]


It has been said that my poetry might really be improved
If from the tyranny of rhyme it simply could be moved
Why must I always seek to find an ever ready rhyme
Unable to complete a verse that lacks a matching line?

Dispensing with demands that words be cloaked in rhyme
Would much reduce my efforts and doubtless save me time
Thought could float more freely, words less deliberate
Such freedom surely would my thinking liberate

So what is the choice if rhyme is lost and poetry is set free?
Apparently the principal alternatives amount to simply these
Free Verse is one – which truly lets us go where’er we choose
And Blank Verse is the other – still free but less loose

Free Verse is poetry which as such has no rhyme scheme
Thus it can shift as poetic thoughts drift as in a dream
In Blank Verse the words in every line display a steady beat
Though rhyme has gone the impression is still for us quite neat

Blank verse is commonly recognized by iambic pentameter
Ten syllables per line is best in this regulated meter
Free Verse knows no such rules or very tight constraints
Poetic metaphors are its best choice, its images to paint

So here we go – discard the rhymes and let’s make all things Free
Or even Blank, if that’s your choice, perhaps you will agree
That it takes a little time to get used to these modes of thought
I hope you feel there is some gain, or was it all for naught?

When poetry is free, thoughts can range both far
And wide, according to the whim, of writer
The reader then must be prepared
To cast aside all ideas of regular shape

Or form, and open up the mind
To concepts not previously considered
Thus finding a new stimulus from
An unfamiliar literary landscape

Blank verse presents its stanzas within an ordered frame
They need not rhyme but you might still discern its steady beat
It sounds as if the clock is marking every crafted line
And it all seems quite structured, a life that’s in control
Blank verse can be demanding, requiring tonal change
And freedom gained by loss of rhyme demands new artistry
Thus freed, the poet no longer needs to seek for obscure rhymes
Thus drama, raw emotion, philosophy, give colour to his palette

Ken Fisher




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