Sans-Poetic Poetry


Benji Hobson, Reporter

It is commonly misunderstood

that Free-Verse poems sound good.

While most experts say

“they are poems in a way”

Free-Verse poems do not sound like poems should.


The definition of Free-Verse is “A literary device that can be defined as poetry that is free from limitations of regular meter or rhythm and does not rhyme with fixed forms.” Meaning that instead of having a rhyme scheme as all poems should, it can ramble on about anything it wants, for as long as it wants, in any way it chooses. Take, for example, this excerpt from “Little Father” by Li-Young Lee:


“I buried my father in my heart.

Now he grows in me, my strange son,
My little root who won’t drink milk,
Little pale foot sunk in unheard-of night,
Little clock spring newly wet
In the fire, little grape, parent to the future
Wine, a son the fruit of his own son,
Little father I ransom with my life.”


While this piece is certainly artistic and uses many similar literary devices found in poetry, (ie. symbolism, tone, etc.)  It should not, by any extent of the imagination, be considered poetry because the concept of true poetry is described as “literature in metrical form; verse” and absolutely no meter, rhyme, nor verse can be found in Free-Verse pieces such as this one. The especially irritating thing about this genre of writing, is that while it is not a poem, it is formatted like one,

Forcing the reader to

Read in chunky sound-bites

of text that don’t

Even rhyme.

Many writers who dabble in Free-Verse claim that it is a “freeing” genre of writing that allows them to “ignore poetic form” and just focus on their subject. That is tremendous for them, but since Free-Verse is supposed to be free of all form and structure, why must they consistently force it upon the public in the form of poetry? Why can these artists not just write in complete lines like the rest of us? The world would be a far better place if they did.

Free-Verse has satire and woe

but with no rhyme it just does not flow.

Its parts are poetic

but in whole are pathetic,

just odd writing split up for show.