I may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. :) Click here to go to my disclosure policy.
Do you remember me talking about sound and how you need to use it to write well? As I was reading in “how to write a poem” this thought came up again. How important it is, when you are writing free verse, to listen to what you are writing so you can break your lines where the sound demands it.
What is free verse?
Free verse is poetry that does not rhyme or have a regular meter. It will often closely follow the natural rhythms of speech. A regular pattern of sound or rhythm may emerge in free-verse lines, but the poet does not adhere to a metrical plan in their composition
How to write it.
As much as free verse will often will follow the pattern of speech, it’s not always intuitive, because written language is not quite the same as spoken. This is why when you write, you need to listen to it and speak it out, so you know where to make the breaks in lines. If you make the breaks well, it helps your poem to express itself well.
Line breaks don’t always happen where the sentence end. but sometimes where a sentence ends the thought does too. So you need to talk it out, over and over until the right spacing occurs and your poem reads the way it should and conveys the thoughts you want it to. Experiment and play around with how your free verse lines come out. Speak them. Let them roll around as you listen and feel and let them become all the words that you intend them to be. Line by line it will come together.
Officially this is called enjambment: The running-over of a sentence or phrase from one poetic line to the next, without terminal punctuation; the opposite of end-stopped. For example:
in the sun
This happens line by line, section by section, figuring out how each thought patten needs to be laid out. No rules, and yet, much thought and consideration goes into it. As you read and break your poetry into the lines needs it should resonate with in you with mystery, wonder, suspense and sound. You will know it when you hear it. So listen for it, listen well.