Tips for the Lonely Free Verse Poet

Free Verse is a tricky.

Many people think that free verse poetry is a collection of random phrases. That you can write emotional sounding sentences and expect that others will feel that your free verse is genius. This is not the case. There must be some definitive, connecting element. Structure is a must. In the following poems I use alliteration to create my structure. Other ways to create structure include: syllable matching (think iambic pentameter), graphic design (using space and shaping words into pictures or designs), ending each line with a similar characteristic (a letter or punctuation), or even using italics or bold or various fonts and colors to separate elements. A near rhyme every once in a while won’t hurt anyone either.

I recommend using alliteration to further the imagery in your poetry. Show how slick, slippery, and slimy, something is with a repetitious sound. The “sl sl sl” combination makes the poetry come alive when it is read aloud.

And now for my own, simple poems.


Day Reborn

Below, Beyond, Beneath the Cloud,

A glow, a glimmer, a glimpse of warmth.

Mighty, Majestic, Merging Mountains,

Underline the Unborn Sky.

Slowly, swelling, steadily,

The warmth takes on visible form.

Soon a circle shall be seen.

At dawn—the day reborn.

(Photo from an early morning hike I went on.) 


On Spindly Spokes

Time turns slowly on spindly spokes

Laced in gossamer threads.

Rocking chairs on porches sway in ticking time.

Creaking on the stairwell

– hush –

Footfall treads.

Thickness in the shadows.

Dust obscures the air.

The dirges of the midnight hour

Summoned of nowhere.





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