What Is a Poem Called When It Doesn't Have Any Kind of Rhyme Scheme?

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When it comes to poetry, many people automatically think of the singsongy rhymes of Shel Silverstein or the flowery words of Shakespeare. However, not all poems rhyme. These poems fall into the free verse category.

What is Free Verse?

According to the University of Pennsylvania, free verse can technically mean the poem also has an irregular cadence or rhythm and can rhyme some of the time, although unrhymed poems do fall into the free verse category. Additionally, within this looser form of poetry come some subsets such as the shape poem, in which the poet creates a shape on the page of the object he or she's describing in the poem.

Famous Examples

For the poet trying to write free verse poems, plenty of famous unrhymed poems exist for the poet to model. "The Song of Solomon" in the King James Version of the Bible expresses the sentiments of love in free verse. "A Birthday Present" by Sylvia Plath also counts as a free verse, non-rhyming poem. In Plath's poem, the poet contemplates her own death, using free verse to express her sentiments.


About the Author

Buffy Naillon has worked in the media industry since 1999, contributing to Germany's "Der Spiegel" magazine and various websites. She received a bachelor's degree in German from Boise State University. Naillon also attended New York University and participated in the foreign exchange program at Germany's Saarland University. She is completing her master's degree in educational technology at Boise State.

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