Free verse is a form of poetry that does not use consistent meter patterns, rhyme, or any other musical pattern. It thus tends to follow the rhythm of natural speech.
Poets have explained that free verse, despite its freedom, is not free. Free verse displays some elements of form. Most free verse, for example, self-evidently continues to observe a convention of the poetic line in some sense, at least in written representations, though retaining a potential degree of linkage, however nebulous, with more traditional forms.
Donald Hall goes as far as to say that "the form of free verse is as binding and as liberating as the form of a rondeau," and T. S. Eliot wrote, "No verse is free for the man who wants to do a good job."
Some poets have considered free verse restrictive in its own way. In 1922 Robert Bridges voiced his reservations in the essay 'Humdrum and Harum-Scarum.' Robert Frost later remarked that writing free verse was like "playing tennis without a net." William Carlos Williams said being an art form, verse cannot be free in the sense of having no limitations or guiding principles.
Read more about Free Verse: Precursors, Form and Structure
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