Free Verse – a modern era phenomenon?

What is the appropriate form for poetry written in the modern era?  No rhyme! No meter! Uneccessary! Old fashioned!  Free verse is the “now”.

Well…….it appears that “Verse Livre” (free verse) itself is quite a venerable poetic institution!  The “Song of Songs” in the Bible is a very early example of free verse – possibly dating to the 10th century BCE.  Later experimentation around and in the 1800’s is attributed to Goethe, Christina Rosetti (who sometimes used unmetered and rhymed verse,) Heinrich Heine, Reiner Maria Rilke and others.

Free Verse allows for individual expression – the cadences, the look of the words on the page, the shape of sentences, the internal winks at venerable forms and words, the revelling in sounds, and the savoring of words as they shape in the mouth and are then released on the air – these and more are available again to poets and their admirers – in ways not socially available for many centuries.

MEM Schober

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One thought on “Free Verse – a modern era phenomenon?

  1. Metered verse, going back to classical Greek drama, came about because it echoed the rhythms of everyday speech, was framed in lines easy to recite in a single breath, and was easy to memorise. I love poetry irrespective of its chinese walls – formal/free, process/product, whatever/whatever. Song of Solomon – good example!

    M
    ___________
    Marie Marshall
    author/poet/editor
    Scotland
    http://mairibheag.com
    http://kvennarad.wordpress.com

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