What is an empty verse

Difference between empty verse and free verse

Key difference - blank verse versus free verse

Empty verses and free verse are two important characteristics in poetry. Empty verses refer to poetry written in regular metric but unreconstructed lines. The free verse refers to an open form of poetry that has neither rhyme nor rhythm. The Main difference between empty verse and free verse that is free verse is not written in consistent time patterns, rhymes, or other musical patterns whereas Empty verses are written in regular metric patterns.

What is an empty verse?

Empty verses are poetry written on regular metric but unreconstructed lines. Empty verses are mostly written in iambic pentameters. Empty verses are also known as unrhymed Iambikpentameter. This versart includes a consistent meter with 10 syllables on each line. The unstressed syllables are followed by stressed ones. Hence, it contains five stressed syllables.

Empty verse is considered to be one of the most common and influential forms of English poetry. Many of the English poems were written in this style. Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, is believed to be the first poet to use empty verse in English literature. This form has been used by many prominent authors such as John Milton, William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, John Donne, and John Keats. The following are some examples of empty verses.

"…Offer me Jump instead of marrying Paris

From the battlements of the tower;

Or go thievingly; or let me lurk

Where snakes are; chain me with roaring bears;

Or locked me up in a morgue at night

O'er was pretty covered in dead men

With square thighs and yellow, scaly skulls;

Or ask me to go to a new grave

And hide with a dead man and his shroud. "

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

"You stars that ruled when I was born,

Whose influence has determined death and hell,

Now draw Faustus like a mist

In the bowels of your working clouds ......

So that my soul can only ascend to heaven ... "

Dr Faustus by Christopher Marlowe

What is the free verse?

Free verse is a form of poetry that does not use a uniform measure, rhyme or any other pattern. Although it does not have a regular rhyme, rhythm, or beat, it nonetheless provides artistic expressions. It tends to follow the rhythm of natural language. Since it does not adhere to set rules, the poet can give a poem any form. Free verse also gives poets greater freedom to choose words without worrying about rhyme and rhythm. It is widely used in contemporary poetry.

Free verse can be observed in poets such as Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Erza Pound, and John Ashbury.

“All truths wait in all things

They neither accelerate nor resist their own delivery

You don't need the surgeon's obstetric forceps. "

- Walt Whitman Leaves of grass

Come on slowly, Eden

Lips that you are not used to.

Shame take your jasmines

As an unconscious bee

Reaching his flower late,

Around her chamber hums

Count his nectars

And is lost in balm!

- Emily Dickinsons Come on slowly, Eden

Difference between empty verse and free verse


blank verseis written on regular metric lines, but they are not matched.

Free versedoes not use a uniform measuring device, rhyme or any other pattern.

Metric pattern

blank verseis written in the regular metric pattern.

Free verse is not written in a regular metric pattern.

Iambic pentameter

blank verse Iambik usually follows pentameter.

Free verse does not follow iambic pentameter.


blank versestarted after 16th Century.

Free verse is mainly used in contemporary poetry.