Free Verse

(172 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 12: Global Voices, Global Histories: World Literatures and Cultures.

Free Verse: verse without metre. Although it has precursors in English (e.g. in the poetry of Walt Whitman), free verse began to be widely used in the early twentieth century, as part of the general rejection by modernism of established artistic conventions: “the first heave”, as Ezra Pound observed in the Cantos, “was to break the pentameter”. Free verse in English comes in three major varieties, two of which (vers libre and the versicle) attempt to replace metre with other …

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Groves, Peter Lewis. "Free Verse". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 June 2008
[, accessed 01 December 2015.]