Sunday, April 5, 2009

Free Verse: Messy Room

“Messy Room“

-Shel Silverstein


Whosever room this is should be ashamed!

His underwear is hanging on the lamp.

His raincoat is there in the overstuffed chair,

And the chair is becoming quite mucky and damp.

His workbook is wedged in the window,

His sweater's been thrown on the floor.

His scarf and one ski are beneath the TV,

And his pants have been carelessly hung on the door.

His books are all jammed in the closet,

His vest has been left in the hall.

A lizard named Ed is asleep in his bed,

And his smelly old sock has been stuck to the wall.

Whosever room this is should be ashamed!

Donald or Robert or Willie or--

Huh? You say it's mine? Oh, dear,

I knew it looked familiar!


Free verse poetry is free from the normal rules of poetry. The poet may choose to include some rhyming words but the poem does not have to rhyme. A free verse poem may be just a sentence that is artistically laid out on the page or it can be pages of words. Some forms of free verse separate, or split, phrases and words between lines. Punctuation may be absent or it may be used to place greater emphasis on specific words. The main object of free verse is to use colorful words, punctuation, and word placement to convey meaning to the reader.

This form of poetry is incredibly broad in its definition and even more so in its practice. Using Caesura to end his lines and determine the flow of this poem Silverstein creates a situation in which an observer realizes the magnitude of his own situation. And, because he was oblivious to the truth that the “messy room” was his own he is able to most accurately discern the condition of said room. Using the free verse form he is able to better form this poem, not restricted by the normal bounds of poetic structure.

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