Starting Free Verse

Poetic ideas can sprout from anywhere, and at anytime.  This is especially true of free verse poems due to the fact that there are literally no rules!  It's all up to you.  You can write about yourself, a feeling, a memory, a friend, an idea, or anything you want; you can even include all these in one poem; the possibilities are endless.  Free verse usually does; however, have some sort of structure to keep the poem organized and not just one line of text.  Of course, you could do a line of text poem, but who wants to go through the trouble of reading that?

While writers acknowledge the existence of "writer's block" or "brain fart" when writing their stories, this is not the case for poems.  As a traditional writer as well, creating an intriguing plot, developing characters, and making up adventures are staples in making a story.  The main difference is that while you can force yourself to write something great, a forced poem is like a wilted flower; it could have blossomed into something beautiful, but it's still missing something crucial to truly be alive.  In the poetic world, this driving force can be known simply as emotions or feelings.  Poetry will come to you; it does not require thought or preparation.  It doesn't need to be edited, follow a certain format, apply to a particular audience, or rhyme.  In essence, free verse poetry is simply the conversion of what you feel into words on a page.

This can be hard to understand at first, but placing yourself in new environments will give yourself more material to pull from.  Poems are based on experiences, so experiencing new things only comes naturally.
  • Try sitting in a park with a sketchpad and try drawing how it makes you feel, then put it into words
  • Scrutinize things you would normally dismiss as nothing during your day, say, a chirping bird, an old couple holding hands, a flower garden you pass by
  • If you live in an urban environment, write about the city, even take a walk at night for inspiration (assuming it's not too dangerous)
These are just some ideas that work for me, and I tend to get ideas for poems from experiences as such.

Good luck writing your free verse!