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Blank Verse: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at blank verse, a form invented by the Earl of Surrey.

This week, we're going to (finally) address an older poetic form: blank verse. It was originally invented by the Earl of Surrey in the 16th century for his translation of Virgil's The Aeneid. It's since been used by Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, Robert Frost, and contemporary poets.

Here are the guidelines for the blank verse:

  • Poem comprised of iambic pentameter lines...
  • ...that don't rhyme

It's often confused with free verse, which also doesn't rhyme, but the difference is that blank verse uses iambic pentameter. The meter gives blank verse a shape and rhythm that free verse often lacks.

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The Complete Guide of Poetic Forms

Play with poetic forms!

Poetic forms are fun poetic games, and this digital guide collects more than 100 poetic forms, including more established poetic forms (like sestinas and sonnets) and newer invented forms (like golden shovels and fibs).

Click to continue.

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Examples of Blank Verse:

Usually, this is where I share my attempt at the poetic form, but this time around, I'm going to send you to the Poetry Foundation site for their list of more than 200 classic and contemporary blank verse poems.

Browse through the selections and try this form out with your own poeming.

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