Free verse is probably the easiest form of poetry. You can write lines of any length about anything and they don’t have to have rhyme or rhythm. And yet, I struggle. I do much better when things do need to have rhyme and rhythm. Over my spring break I forced myself to write free verse poetry. If I didn’t like the poem (which was more often than not) I would copy it down on a post-it note and stick it to my wall. There, it will sit until I decide to do something with it. The sad thing is, I will probably not do anything with them. You see, when I write poetry I write and edit it line by line. When I’ve written the last line, it is finished. It is done. I don’t spend any more time on it.
One day during my spring break, I needed to use the bathroom. Unfortunately, there was someone in the bathroom. I did what any normal… who am I fooling? I did what only I would do and locked myself in my room for an hour and a half and I listened to music and wrote free verse poetry. When I finally emerged from my room with a desperate need of the toilet, I had finished three poems. One of them ended up being sticky note poetry, but the other two are quite nice. I’ll share them with you if you ask me to, but otherwise I won’t. Instead, I’ll share with you an excercise I made up that helped my write one of these poems.
First, choose a letter. Make sure it’s fairly common. I chose E. Using pencil, write this letter at the top of your paper. Underneath, write as many words as you can think of that start with that letter. When you’re done, cross off or erase any words that you don’t think you’d end up using. I crossed off Easter. Then, form a sentence for each word. The sentence doesn’t have to start with the word; it can be anywhere. Once you’ve done that, tinker with the sentences until they are all about the same topic. Arrange the sentences so they make sense. Add a few lines if you need to. Voila! You have a poem. If this didn’t work for you, I’m sorry. It worked for me.
Write some poetry.