Poetry Quotes: Free Verse & Form

“Them kind of poems ain’t stylish no longer. Rhymes has gone out. Everything’s ‘free verse’ now. I’ve been readin’ up about it. So I’ve wrote some of ’em. They’re real easy to do — jest lines chopped off free an’ easy, anywheres that it happens, only have some long, an’ some short, for notoriety, you know, like this.” And she read:
      “A great big cloud
      That was black
      Came up
      Out of the West. An’ I knew
      Then
      For sure
      That a storm was brewin’.
      An’ it brewed.”
“Now that was dead easy — anybody could see that. But it’s kind of pretty, I think, too, jest the same. Them denatured poems are always pretty, I think — about trees an’ grass an’ flowers an’ the sky, you know. Don’t you?” ~Eleanor H. Porter, “Free Verse — à la Susan,” Dawn, 1918

I would as soon write free verse as play tennis with the net down. ~Robert Frost, 1935

Sorry if these lines are irregular in length and jolty in meter. ~J.F. Bowman, 1868 [a little altered –tg]

Poetry is not imagination, but imagination shaped. Not feeling, but feeling expressed symbolically; the formless suggested indirectly through form. Hence the form is an essential element of poetry. And, the form in which poetical feeling expresses itself is infinitely varied. ~Frederick W. Robertson, paraphrased from a lecture delivered before the Members of the Mechanics’ Institution, February 1852

I love writing poetry because poetry can be anything you want it to be — just like daydreaming. There are no rules except those in your heart and your own pen. ~Terri Guillemets, “Quiet time with my soul,” 1998

Poetry was music. Poetry was not the thing said, but continual evocation of delicious suggestions of meaning. Poetry was an unconscious crystallization of glittering images upon the bare twig of metre. Poetry, at the nadir of this search for its essence, became the formless babble and vomit of the poet’s subconscious mind. ~Alec Derwent Hope