Site Map
Verse Patterns
Section › 16   Set    Search  Previous Next


Verse Patterns

Free verse is an open form of poetry. It does not use consistent metre patterns, rhyme, or any other musical pattern. It consists of lines. The content is put together much ad lib, or in some other way. A teaching poem may easily be made in the form of free verse.

Poets who have used free verse include William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore, and Wallace Stevens. Now, William Carlos Williams said "being an art form, verse cannot be free in the sense of having no limitations or guiding principles."

(WP, "Free verse")

Vers libre is an open form of poetry that abandons consistent meter patterns, rhyme, or other forms of musical pattern. It thus tends to follow the rhythm of natural speech. Vers libre is "a poetic form of flexibility, complexity and naturalness." It was formed in the late 19th century in France and taken up by Baudelaire, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Mallarmé and others. Their concern was the harmony or equilibrium of sensation. The unit of vers libre is the strophe, which can be the whole poem or a part of it.

Vers libre poets of France in the 1800s made structural innovations and paved the way for liberated phrases more than fixed number of syllables, the lengths of lines might vary and rhyme was optional. The term prose poems may come to mind, as with Arthur Rimbaud (1854–91), who made a considerable fortune, and one of the founding fathers of modernism.

After 1912, hundreds of poets were led to use vers libre as their medium. (WP, "Verse libre")

Similar, but -

Free verse is often said to derive from vers libre. However, it may be said that "free verse and vers libre are not synonymous," for many poets of the Victorian era experimented with free verse - with rhymed but unmetred verse. "Due to a lack of predetermined form, free verse poems have the potential to take truly unique shapes." Also, free verse has been described as "spaced prose," that is very often to say, as prose with a lot of line breaks.

Although free verse requires no metre, rhyme, or other traditional poetic techniques, a poet can still use them to create some structure. For example, in Walt Whitman's poems he repeats certain phrases and uses commas to create both a rhythm and structure.

(WP, "Free verse")

Kusa, a Verse Pattern

A verse pattern may need a name. Kusa is a name. John Grimes explains:

Kusa - One of the varieties of sacred grass (darbha) which is used in religious rites.

1. A type of grass (poa cynosuroides) which is considered to be very sacred and is said to possess the power of warding off evils. (Grimes 2009, 210)

Kusa also means Desmostachya bipinnata, which has long been used in various traditions as a sacred plant. According to early Buddhist accounts, Buddha sat on it when he gained enlightenment. The plant is also recommended in the Bhagavad Gita as ideal to sit on during meditation.

There are other uses as well.

A tick tack tao essay may yield several kusa sorts

There are many sorts of poetry embedded in a tick tack tao survey - it contains poetry deep in its belly.

It may not be awfully hard to learn how to form a survey of this sort.

  • Decode the tick tack tao survey.
  • Choose fragments or phrases.
  • Group those bits and arrange them in blocks.
  • Polish the result. There it is.

Just take a tick tack tao essay (many are marked) and select a few phrases and fragments you like. Then put these blocks (phrases) together, and a kusa poem is had. Just as there are different sorts of kusa grasses, there are several sorts of kusa poetry. Here are two:


An ancient style teaching poem: Take a phrase or fragment from the first section of a tick tack tao survey, and one from the third. You are halfway! Then one from the first and third again - and there you have a sort of teaching poem!

The end results of such a metric poem may be variable - some apparently good, others not so good, and so on. You may need to toy with the ideas to make them shapely and give them a try. The results depend on how terse or outspoken or delicate you want the verses to be. Give it a try. Here is an example:

High hopes
Hopes turn people into dopes,
Soon others profit on top of hope-dopes' backs.
But welcome hopes allow for maturing.

If we learn to reflect on sayings that matter in the form of poetry or dictums of other sorts, they could take part in helping us grow in wiser handling of problems and to steer better in life. The worst case scenario is one of increasing dependency, getting stuck and tight - maybe. "Prepare for the worst so that it may not happen," and prepare as soon as may be by not encouraging high hopes, drugs, getting a belief-victim or such a slave instead of maturing throughout life's phases (Erikson). It is easy to stagnate where inner drives and genuine interests get thwarted through public schooling into conform patterns. That is a problem a little poem may help you get aware of - at first gently.


Kusa is a name given to an extract or abstract that is made according to a design (according to metrics rooted in the Get Tao design) and put together to run as free verse. The way is to choose one or several phrases or points from eace step ("bead"), one by one, and see what you end up with. It may be good to adjust here and there and polish the result too. Results depend on skills with words too; there is no denying of that.

An example of such teaching poetry:

There are sound welcomes and the others.
To find favours, go for being worthy of them
and observe as fitly as can be,
for indecent conformity may in time stultify.
Garden living can help.
Extract key points even from cream teachings
and string them to get a Way (Tao).

(A little kusa extracted from this page).

If you manage to do this, you have come a long way.

A structural gambit meets free verse

Kusa is a name for associative, salient poetry, and may be rather instructive in its way too. It consists of fragmented key notes and key phrases put together. 'Associative' here means "relating to association especially of ideas or images". It is by idea associations most persons learn and develop a mind of their own, the Buzan brothers show. They say that the more you educate people, the more unique mental networks of associations they get. (Buzan and Buzan 2010:37-40; and 1995:64-66).

There may be a little added to the keys too, in between them. Such additional words are a sort of glue between some of them key words and phrases, or for clarifying parts, or modifications as it seems fit. Glue may range from added to assorted and more or less stripped elements thus.

A Little Inspiration

LADEN, INTRINSIC USE. The kusa lends itself to improvisation, and thereby taking the bull by its horns by a knowledge poem that is made up of key points, fragments, and key phrases it is good for learning, if what the eminent psychologist Tony Buzan asserts about the value of focusing on key words and key phrases is all right. Buzan tells we can access ten times more or better through key notes - or maybe "just nine" - and the instructive kusa consists of key notes. The kusa may be linked to the Japanese ikebana (shoka) too, in that its key phrases are like arranged (grassy) flower offerings to Buddha deep within.

In the simplest forms of the kusa, most ellipses may be shown just by linebreaks. It is possible to draw still more out of it, though, through various structural designs. Both prose and poetry outputs are possible.

ELEMENTS OF LINKED, EUROPEAN HISTORY. Kusas take off through similar means as free verse. We may as well incorporate of most elements in lyrics.

As mentioned above, William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore, and Wallace Stevens were among those who wrote some variety of free verse. A few examples:

The Red Wheelbarrow

so much depends


a red wheel


glazed with rain


beside the white


- William Carlos Williams

William Carlos Williams quotations

The job of the poet is to use language effectively, his own language, the only language which is to him authentic. - William Carlos Williams

Poetry demands a different material than prose. It uses . . . spontaneous conformation of language as it is heard. - William Carlos Williams

Nothing whips my blood like verse - William Carlos Williams

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.

I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.

The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.

A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a blackbird
Are one.

I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.

Icicles fined the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.

O thin men of Haddam,
Why do you imagine golden birds?
Do you not see how the blackbird
Walks around the feet
Of the women about you?

I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.

When the blackbird flew out of sight, It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.

At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.

He rode over Connecticut
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him.
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
For blackbirds.

The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.

It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.

- Wallace Stevens

Wallace Stevens quotations

The imagination is man's power over nature. - Wallace Stevens

The imagination loses vitality as it ceases to adhere to what is real. - - Wallace Stevens

One ought not to hoard culture. It should be adapted and infused into society as a leaven. Liberality of culture does not mean illiberality of its benefits. - Wallace Stevens

A poet looks at the world the way a man looks at a woman. - Wallace Stevens

The observation of the unconscious, so far as it can be observed, should reveal things of which we have previously been unconscious. - Wallace Stevens

How has the human spirit ever survived the terrific literature with which it has had to contend? - Wallace Stevens

An old argument with me is that the true religious force in the world is not the church, but the world itself: the mysterious callings of Nature and our responses. - Wallace Stevens

It is not everyday that the world arranges itself into a poem. - Wallace Stevens

The poet is the priest of the invisible. - Wallace Stevens

It is necessary to any originality to have the courage to be an amateur. - Wallace Stevens

Nevertheless [Fragments]

you've seen a strawberry

that's had a struggle; yet

was . . .

What better food

than apple seeds

What sap

went through that little thread

to make the cherry red!

- Marianne Moore (passim)

Marianne Moore quotations

Poetry is: a classifying, a botanizing, a voracity of contemplation, a pleasure, an indulgence, an infatuation in which the actual is a deft benficence. - Marianne Moore

Poetry, that is to say the poetic, is a primal necessity. - Marianne Moore

I tend to write in patterned arrangement with rhymes. I try to secure an effect of flowing continuity and the correspondence between verse and music. - Marianne Moore

I see no reason for calling my work poetry except that there is no other category in which to put it. - Marianne Moore

One must be as clear as one's natural reticence allows one to be. - Marianne Moore

[W]e do not admire what we cannot understand. - Marianne Moore

Poetry is a peerless proficiency of the imagination. - Marianne Moore

I think books are chiefly responsible for my dogged self determined efforts to write; books & verisimilitude; I like to describe things. - Marianne Moore

Verse patterns in poetry, verse making, systematic verse patterns, patterning in poetics, Literature  

Buzan, Tony, and Barry Buzan. 2010. The Mind Map Book: Unlock Your Creativity, Boost Your Memory, Change Your Life. Harlow: BBC Active / Pearson (1995).

Moore, Marianne. 1967. The Collected Poems of Marianne Moore. London: Faber and Faber.

Stevens, Wallace. 1971. The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens. New York: Alfred A Knopf.

Williams, William Carlos. 2004. Poems. Paris, France: PoemHunter.Com

Verse patterns in poetry, verse making, systematic verse patterns, patterning in poetics, To top    Section     Set    Next

Verse patterns in poetry, verse making, systematic verse patterns, patterning in poetics. User's Guide   ᴥ    Disclaimer 
© 1999–2018, Tormod Kinnes, MPhil [Email]