free verse


Definition of free verse

: verse whose meter is irregular in some respect or whose rhythm is not metrical

Examples of free verse in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This came as no surprise to Smith, whose remarkable ability to recognize darkness while tenaciously holding onto hope is embodied in the 17 lines of free verse. Jessica Dulong, CNN, "How to deal with grief -- and persevere -- mid-pandemic," 30 Nov. 2020 But no primer quite equips the reader for the free verse that follows — an exhale of recipes, memoir, travelogue, social commentary and gossip that illuminates one Black woman’s experience like no work of literature before or since. Bill Addison, Los Angeles Times, "Tasting Notes: ‘Vibration Cooking’ is still prescient at 50," 21 Nov. 2020 Glück’s free verse is exacting and taut and rhetorically organized. Dwight Garner, New York Times, "Louise Glück, a Nobel Winner Whose Poems Have Abundant Intellect and Deep Feeling," 8 Oct. 2020 Inspired by Rudyard Kipling and Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Clark shunned free verse in favor of meter and rhyme, composing primarily in ballad form. Carson Vaughan, Smithsonian Magazine, "Saddle Up With Badger Clark, America’s Forgotten Cowboy Poet," 17 Sep. 2020 Marjorie Price’s illustrations are the perfect complement to this collection of both free verse and traditional poetry. Augusta Scattergood, The Christian Science Monitor, "Spring picture books to read with the ones you love," 18 May 2020 Her language spills over the page in free verse that suggests Ntozake Shange but lays down its own rhythms. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "The Best Books of 2019," 2 Dec. 2019 Written as prose poetry and free verse, the sweep is as vast as a life cycle: from childhood to parenthood to the loss of a parent, invoking an overall vision that is clear-eyed and skinned, yet somehow courageous and even hopeful. oregonlive, "4 Oregon poets’ new collections plumb the past and illuminate the present," 9 Nov. 2019 The event is open to anyone interested in learning about the modern haiku, senryu and haibun types of poetry, focusing on contemporary free verse forms, not the familiar five-seven-five-syllable structure. Carole Goldberg,, "Write Stuff: ‘Sex and the City’ author takes on life over 50," 7 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'free verse.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of free verse

1813, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for free verse

Time Traveler

The first known use of free verse was in 1813

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Cite this Entry

“Free verse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for free verse

free verse


English Language Learners Definition of free verse

: poetry that does not rhyme and does not have a regular rhythm

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