Free Verse Poetry
Welcome! You have found your way to samples of some of our writing. This year, we began our writing instruction the very first day of school with the study of poetry. We have been writing free verse poetry so far because of its flexibility and the ease of its form, since it has very few rules, relying on line breaks and word choice to guide the reader. Many free verse poems have the cadence of conversational speech. Modern free verse began with Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, published in 1855. Others who are known for their free verse poetry are Carl Sandburg, Langston Hughes, e.e. cummings, and William Carlos Williams. In free verse poetry, there are no set rules: no specific rhyming scheme, syllable count, metric pattern, line arrangement, or theme. The poet is “free” to write however s/he wants.
Students now have written between five and seven free verse poems (some students have written more). Students have especially been focusing to incorporate new strategies and rules from their daily writing mini-lessons. As you read these poems, see if you notice students working toward mastering one or more of the following concepts: use of first-person voice to infuse a poem with a specific human connection, starting with a lead that begins inside to engage the reader, ending strongly, making every word in a poem loaded and necessary, using effective repetition, using echoing or circle endings, playing with line breaks and stanzas for emphasis, and writing with strong figurative language.
Obviously, students have not yet mastered all of these skills, nor have they incorporated all they have learned into each individual poem. These poems were student-selected and have not yet been polished. Save for correct spelling, these poems are still in very rough draft format, having received some revision by students, but still very much remaining “works in progress.”
We hope you enjoy reading the poetry!
Click here to see these: