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Difference Between Blank Verse and Free Verse

Main Difference

The main difference between Blank Verse and Free Verse is that Blank Verse is a poetry that has un-rhyming lines but depends on a clear meter, whereas Free Verse has not the continuous meter, and free from rhyme.

Blank Verse vs. Free Verse

Blank verse depends on the un-rhymed pattern, mostly of iambic pentameter. Free verse has no meter or rhyming pattern. Blank Verse has a continuous meter to produce du-DUM rhythm results. Free Verse is free from all restrictions of poetry. Blank verse poetry has a continuous rhythm. Free Verse is free from form, and limitation of poetry pattern. Blank Verse mostly depends on ten syllables and five stresses in every line. Free verse poetry has no organized pattern and rhyme. Blank Verse has a restricted structure to follows. But Free verse is an open structure of poetry.

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Comparison Chart

Blank verseFree verse
Blank verse has an iambic pentameter of ten syllables, that second, fourth, sixth, eight, and ten syllables stressed.Free verse has no rhythmic lines. It has changes of phrases and images.
Genera
Poetry(literary device)Poetry(literary device)
Characteristics
Mostly useful for lengthy poems, and dramatic style.It has a proper syntactical structure rather than a conservational pattern.
Examples
From off the battlements of yonder tower; where serpents are; chain me with roaring bearsBut patience is more oft the exercise of saints, the trial of their fortitude,

What is Blank Verse?

The Blank Verse form of poetry is so simple to write and understand. Blank Verse poetry has regular use of poetical devices. It has lines of five feet, and every foot is in iambic form. It means that two syllables are lengthy, one un-stressed directed by a stressed syllable. Blank Verse has great importance in literature. Christopher Marlowe was the first writer who uses Blank Verse is his poetical writings. Thomas Norton’s ‘Gorboduc’ was the first Blank Verse play in English history, published in 1561. It was a new style of writing in poetry. After this, William Shakespeare played a vital role in Blank Verse poetry. ‘Or shut me nightly in a charnel-house, O’er covered quite with dead men’s rattling bones,’ is the best example of Blank Verse.

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Techniques

  • Changing of caesura, stop, from point to pint between the lines.
  • There is also the changing of stress between syllables.
  • Use the stanzas in a way that chain your thoughts as a paragraph.

What is Free Verse?

Free Verse poetry has a real connection with natural speech structure. A little free verse poetry comes before the 1800s. But they were written in other languages. In English, first Free Verse writers arise in the 19s. After Whitman and Matthew Arnold, Allen, William, and Ezra appeared. Due to the use of imagery and the continuity of anaphora, again and again, you can easily understand Churchill’s poetry behaving as a free verse form. Free Verse Poetry has a remarkable period in literary history. From last more one hundred years ago, Free Verse is a leading form in poetry. As ‘Song of myself’ by “Walt Whitman” is the first masterpiece of Free Verse in Literature history. In this masterpiece, Whitman also uses other poetic strategies to covey the real sense of Free Verse.

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Examples

  • ‘I loafe and invite my soul, I lean and loafe at my ease observing, Asper of summer grass.’
  • ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.’

Key Difference

  1. Blank Verse has a musical structure whereas, Free Verse has no musical structure.
  2. Blank Verse follows a metrical structure; on the other hand, Free Verse is free from any metrical structure.
  3. Blank Verse has unrhymed lines; conversely, Free Verse has no rhyming scheme.
  4. Blank Verse is an ordinary and practical form; on the flip side, Free Verse provides artistic expressions.
  5. Blank Verse poetry set some limitations towards the writers; on the flip side, Free Verse is a free open having no rules.
  6. Blank Verse has no specific rhythm, but Free Verse maybe has some rhyme and rhythm.
  7. And so on, Blank Verse may come in dramatic style, whereas Free verse poetry has poetic lines and poetic imagery to understand it.

Conclusion

Blank Verse and Free Verse are two literary devices used in poetry. They have similarities, but we also find a vast difference in their uses.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson