An amazing book review inspired me to write this blog post today. How to write a freestyle poem? Are there are any rules and what is the best way to go about it?
Although I dabbled into poetry years ago, I have left it untouched for over a decade. Fiction writing had priority and I didn’t think that my poems were good enough, until a friend – who is also a poet – invited me to participate in a poetry slam and I ended up winning second place. That was a pleasant surprise and a wonderful boost.
When I received more invitations, I was pushed to write more poetry. Then I started sharing my poems on my website here, and you, my dear readers, inspired me to publish them in a book, which I did.
Pieces of my Soul has now received its first review, and it’s a beautiful 4 stars!
Freestyle Poetry – What are the Rules?
The only rule that freestyle poetry has is that there aren’t any rules.
Free verse can be about any topic and it can have any length. It may rhyme or not; there are no specific rhyme or rhythm schemes or patterns, and you do not need to place a fixed set of syllables or words on each line.
Oh, wow, that’s easy, you’d say. Well, I guess that’s what the traditional poet who follows strict poetry rules would say. In fact, freestyle poetry has been heavily criticized by traditional poets. I can’t blame them; perhaps it appears that traditional poetry feels a little threatened by the growing popularity of poetry slams and freestyle poetry, but I disagree.
Traditional poetry is beautiful on its own, each and every one a single masterpiece. Therefore, its creators should not see freestyle poetry as a rival but as a new style that is branching off. It’s just different. So, there is no competition there. On the contrary, it actually awakens more interest in poetry.
Anyone can Write it Then?
I would not presume to say who can and cannot write it. Nonetheless, just because there are no rules doesn’t mean that it’s easy. Let’s say, your topic is water. You still have to come up with a piece about water and get those creative juices flowing. You are still putting in all your emotions, memories, and parts of yourself in there.
I have written freestyle poems about my ex-boyfriend, a dog I have lost, a fire in my home, water, hope, stolen freedom, loss, and much more. It isn’t always easy. Writing about the dog I lost was hard and cost me many tears. Re-reading it over and over for spelling and grammar errors and to make other corrections produced new floods of tears every single time.
Easy? Not by far.
Writing about your innermost feelings to make the reader feel them too isn’t easy. You want the reader to feel what your poem brings out of you, the despair, hope, love, fear, rage, freedom, anything … That is not a simple thing to do.
So, criticisms aside, dear traditional poets.
We work on different branches of the tree
and should let each other be,
respect each other’s work,
and avoid snappy remarks and hurt 🙂
Okay, that was a quick one that I wrote down off the top of my head (and it still rhymes 😉 haha). That one wasn’t hard, but there are also no emotions involved here 😉
If you would like to try it out, then please do. Don’t be intimidated by what others say. Don’t listen to the “where’s the rhythm?” “where’s the rhyme scheme?”
Freestyle is free, you let your emotions flow through your pen (or through your fingers on your laptop keyboard), and then see what you come up with. After that, you re-read it and edit. I recommend that you leave your poem for a few hours or even for a day and then you look at it again from a fresh perspective. In that way you will be able to notice some things you have not noticed before and make some more corrections, additions, or improve it.
I hope that this helps. If your hand is itching to write, then write! 🙂
Pick up your pen
Bleed your heart out on the paper
Don’t ask when
Don’t leave it for later
Let those juices flow
Let them out while you can
Write those lines as far as you can throw
Rhytm and rhyme rules are banned
And while your emotions well up
Allow them to fill your poem, don’t stop
This poem was written once more off the top of my head, and without any emotions, which makes it a lot easier; so this one is just for fun 😉 . To write a poem that comes from my innermost self, I need more time 🙂
Thank you for reading!