What’s the first rule of writing poetry? That there are no rules — it’s all up to you! Of course there are different poetic forms and devices, and free verse poems are one of the many poetic styles; they have no structure when it comes to format or even rhyming. We have lots of free verse poetry from our Power Poets to inspire you. Here are some tips to help you channel your inspiration and ideas to write a free verse poem of your own.
How to Write a Free Verse Poem
- What is it? A free verse poem (or blank verse poem) doesn’t follow any specific guidelines, the way a haiku or sonnet does. Instead, you can let your thoughts run wild so that the words on the page read more like a conversation or story.
- Wait, isn’t that kind of hard? Since free verse poems have no set structure, it’s up to you to make the poem sound great without rhyming or any type of pattern. Don’t worry if your poem sounds different than most poems you’re used to reading — Dr. Seuss is lots of fun, but rhyming isn’t for everyone. Your poem is unique and a reflection of you. Our lives don’t follow flawless patterns, and your poetry doesn’t have to either.
- So how does it start? First, settle on a theme or event you’d like to write about. Try to set the scene in your head and go from there. Then write down some key words that relate to your story. Since you don’t need to worry about matching up words and rhyming them, you should be able to incorporate most of these words in your poem. Work backwards and create the lines of your poems around those key words to flesh out the poem.
- Use the Five Senses. To bring life to your free verse poem, focus on incorporating the five senses into your poem; devote one line to each sense, or sprinkle them throughout. Using imagery and descriptive language will help the reader understand what scene or emotion your poem illustrates, and encourage your audience to fully experience your work.
- Test it out With Power Poetry. Always remember to share your awesome free verse poem on PowerPoetry.org (and Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and… you get the idea) so everyone can read your rule-free poem!
Ready to get started? You can find more guides to writing a free verse poem around specific topics or feelings by exploring our poetry tips. Once you're ready to share, explore all of the ways that you can join the Power Poetry community — find great scholarships, enter our poetry slams, and share your story.