What is free verse?

   Free verse, poetry that is written in irregular meter. The free verse movement began as a reaction against the artificiality of formal metrical patterns. Advocates of free verse wished to imitate the natural accents of speech, which reflect the meaning and emotion of the words expressed. The rhythm of free verse, therefore, follows, not the prescribed forms of the poetic foot and line, but the cadences of the voice. Although rhyme is optional, most free verse is unrhymed. The American poet Walt Whitman was one of the first to write consistently in free verse. Other well-known poets who have frequently used free verse include Amy Lowell, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Carl Sandburg, and Vachel Lindsay.