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Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Thing Not To Write Lightly Today: vers libre.

The French and the British have history - lots of history. Some of it's friendly, some of it's most definitely not; but it's all coloured by fundamental incomprehension.

Having said that, we British admire the French for many things - for their elegance, for one thing, and also for their ability to speak of intellectual matters without sniggering self-consciously. This is why the term vers libre is sometimes preferred in England to its English translation free verse.

Vers libre is writing that's divided into short lines like poetry, but doesn't go in for regular rhythms or rhymes.

Now, you may be asking (as I am) so what's the difference between vers libre and prose that's been chopped up?

And I'm afraid 
The answer is, 
Too often, 
None at all.

Thing Not To Write Lightly Today: vers libre. This is French for free verse. The term was probably invented by Gustave Kahn, and the idea is that each poem has its own individual structure and form.

Rules may not apply, but, in poetry as in life, that doesn't mean you can do anything you like and call it good.

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