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Poetry
Write Blank Verse



Write Blank Verse
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.36

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    unrequited, pentameter, many-colored, simile, metaphor, dialogue, poetic, shakespeare, writing, unstressed, inadequate, consistent, enamel, poetry, aspect, portion
     content words:    William Butler Yeats, Ezra Pound, Robert Frost


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Write Blank Verse
By Brenda B. Covert
  

1     What do the words blank verse bring to mind? Do you imagine a fill-in-the-blank poem? Maybe you think it's about your mind going blank when your teacher gives you a poetry writing assignment! Actually, blank verse is poetry without rhyme. Unlike free verse, another style of poetry that doesn't rhyme, blank verse makes use of meter. The normal meter found in blank verse is iambic pentameter. Have you studied sonnets? Sonnets are another style of poetry written in iambic pentameter. While blank verse is often written in iambic pentameter, it is not restricted to iambic pentameter. Poets can choose any meter and any amount of feet per line, as long as all lines of an individual poem contain the same meter and feet or contain only minor variations.
 
2     Blank verse has been around since the Renaissance. Shakespeare often formed dialogue in his plays into blank verse. Other poets famous for their blank verse poetry include William Butler Yeats, Ezra Pound, and Robert Frost. However, don't let this list of blank verse superstars make you feel inadequate. You too have the ability to construct a poem using blank verse!
 
3     First, let's look at an example of blank verse. "Birches" by Robert Frost is a poem written in blank verse. A portion of the poem is shown below. Notice that none of the end words rhyme, there are ten to eleven syllables per line, and the rhythm displayed in the lines' feet is unstressed, stressed.

Paragraphs 4 to 7:
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