B&P’s Shadorma & Beyond – May 30th 2015



We’ve reached the end of another month … spring is winding down, summer finally is making itself felt here in the Northern Hemisphere and of course it’s just the opposite down South.

Today I thought we’d  choose between a writing a shadorma (a six-lined poem with a (3/5/3/3/7/5) rhyming scheme) or try our hand at “free verse“!

From the Wikipedia here’s a definition of free verse.

Free verse is an open form of poetry. It does not use consistent meter patterns, rhyme, or any other musical pattern. It thus tends to follow the rhythm of natural speech.”

So, to round it up, free verse

  • Free verse poems have no regular meter and rhythm.
  • They do not follow a proper rhyme scheme as such; these poems do not have any set rules.
  • This type of poem is based on normal pauses and natural rhythmical phrases as compared to the artificial constraints of normal poetry.
  • It is also called vers libre which is a French word.

Here’s and example by Walt Whitman of free verse:

A noiseless patient spider,
I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,…….
Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

Walt Whitman


But before we begin to write our free verse,  consider these lines, always found in the Wikipedia:

Poets have explained that free verse is, despite its freedom, not entirely 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.

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”. Kenneth Allott the poet/critic said the adoption by some poets of vers libre arose from ‘mere desire for novelty, the imitation of Whitman, the study of Jacobean dramatic blank verse, and the awareness of what French poets had already done to the Alexandrine in France’. The American critic John Livingston Lowes in 1916 observed ‘Free verse may be written as very beautiful prose; prose may be written as very beautiful free verse. Which is which ?’

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”. Yvor Winters, the poet/critic said “the free verse that is really verse, the best that is, of W.C. Williams, H. D., Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, and Ezra Pound is the antithesis of free”

Here is an example of free verse by Ezra Pound so we can decide what he meant by his belief that free verse is the antithesis of free:

Like a skein of loose silk blown against a wall
She walks by the railing of a path in Kensington Gardens,
And she is dying piece-meal
of a sort of emotional anemia.

And round about there is a rabble
Of the filthy, sturdy, unkillable infants of the very poor.
They shall inherit the earth.

In her is the end of breeding.
Her boredom is exquisite and excessive…..
will commit that indiscretion.

Ezra Pound


The theme to inspire us this week is a phrase –  passing time – keeping in mind that metaphor is still a device often used here’s a photo for your use, or choose your own work or image or none at all!

passing spring
passing spring

Feel free to write a shadorma (a non-rhyming six-line poem in 3/5/3/3/7/5) and/or free verse. The choice is yours! When you have written your poem(s), please TAG them B&P’s Shadorma & Beyond and MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie. Then add your link to the Mister Linky widget below.

And have fun!

(All link references will take you to Literary Device a fantastic tool for the wannabe poet! The photo was provided by Bastet.)


  1. Great prompt — thanks for the examples from Whitman and Pound – and for explaining that “free” verse isn’t a “free for all”. 🙂


    • Cool .. hope I get some time to really get down to reading … I’m getting the last touches done on my Medieval reenactment costume … I’m no seamstress and hand sewing is a long slog.


      • We have some friends who are Park Rangers who also do reenactments…American Civil War… I might like to do something like that, but Hubby isn’t interested in the slightest.

        Good luck on your costume.


      • Well my Hubby isn’t interested either … so I go with my son 😉 I wrote a post today about my costuming adventures etc. thanks for your good luck!


  2. Interesting post. Rhythm, repetition assonance , alliteration are all literary devices used in free verse . Sound rhythm and flow are important.


    • That’s right … in effects, free verse is like inventing ones own form with each poem one writes … I think if you just string words together you’d find that there isn’t anything but a string of words … no poetry at all.


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