Welcome To
The Blizzard Guy's Alternative Verse Discussion Site

A place to vent your spleen about so-called "Alternative," "Free," or "Blank" Verse.
Rules for this discussion site:

1. No flaming or name-calling. No ancestral aspersions.
2. No language that my teenagers shouldn't read.
3. All points to be submitted for discussion must be in poetic form; that is, they must rhyme and have meter. Illustrations, graphics, etc. welcome.
4. All points submitted that meet the above three requirements will be posted along with the submitter's name and email address.

Some administrivia:

1. The most recent submissions will be at the top of the page (below).
2. Submissions will be separated by those web-page divider things.
3. Submitters retain all rights to whatever they submit.

Some hints about my built-in bias:

1. If, on hearing someone read a poem, one cannot tell that it is a poem, then it is not a poem.
2. Remember your favorite poems of all time? How many of them had no rhyme or meter? Hmmm?

10 February 2004
Thank you, Liz Westlaw Parker for these fine sentiments.


I cannot write in free verse.
From down through the ages
Old Celtic drums beat through me
And spill out onto the pages.

I cannot write in blank verse
However hard I fight.
Even assonance grates on my nerves.
I get the rhyming right.

25 June 2002
A tip of the hat to Daniel Willcocks who, although misguided, sends us this rejoinder!

If the vision is beautiful,
And the meaning sublime,
Who gives a ratsí about rhythm and rhyme?

 Donít reach for your similes,
Reach for your mind,
And donít try so hard to keep it in time.

 Donít worship the metre,
Just see what you find,
If the solution is beautiful,
It will write its own lines.

 Know all their rules,
And know all theyíre worth,
Then leave them behind,
Youíll witness the birthÖ

 Of rhythm and style,
And meaning and vision.
When only your thought is your literary mission.

4 March 2002
Thanks to Bernie Kyle of New Zealand, where they obviously still have taste, for this one!

I came upon thy website fair
By nothing more than Chance
When fullsome curse of unrhymed verse
Appealed to Bernard Vance !


Blank verse, Blank verse, what could be worse
Vers libre I suppose
For it doesn't rhyme, It doesn't scan
It's just truncated Prose.

But remember when in childhood days
One Humpty Dumpty reigned
And Miss Muffet & her Tuffet fine
The joyous mirth sustained ?

And the Boy stood on the burning Deck
How risque could one be ?
For such a tale brought subtle grins
To more than you & me.

But then, oh then, in Stanzas fine
The Classic, one could tell
For rhyming verse had reached its Peak,
Hurrah for Eskimo Nell.

It seems therefore, in days of yore,
Our thirst for rhymes was born
So let's have rhymes in present times
Blank verse is such a yawn.

Bernard Vance Kyle C2002
avi @infogen.net.nz

15 August 1999
Submitted by Charlotte Richards

As proof that even fans of "Blank" verse can see the light, Charlotte offers this:

What Could Be Verse?
(A parody of "Trees" as it would be written by Jim Muri)  - Note:  That's your webmaster, folks


I think that I shall never see
A rhymeless verse that pleases me.

A verse with lots of words to spare,
But measured meter all too rare;

A verse that goes on endlessly,
Inflicting reader agony.

For all blank verse is merely prose,
As any honest poet knows.

To me such poems lack appeal.
They make my writer's blood congeal.

Rhymed verse is best, say fools like me.
Thank God some poets still agree.


August 15, 1999
Submitted by:  Elaine Fyalka

Although this poem is not, strictly speaking, in full compliance with the rhyme and meter requirements for posting here, it has a certain tongue-in-cheek merit that allows a blind eye to that provision.

Sounding Out

Free verse
Is like a train
Without a track.
I want to go back
To poetry
As it used to be.
With metaphoric rhyme,
Keeping time.
Not words like a lime
That makes your mouth pucker and shrivel
With grossly selfish 'me and you's,'
And grating double participle.

April 14 1999
Submitted by: Charlotte Richards

While the jury is still out on whether this submission is a violation of Rule 1, above, it is a gem and is therefore graciously allowed here in this hallowed site.  Charlotte is the acknowledged Poet Laureate of the Tacoma Writer's Club, and that carries a lot of weight.

So, here it is:


There was a club poet named Muri
Who acted in workshops as jury,
Condemning each time
A line didn't rhyme,
For blank verse aroused him to fury.

September 10 1998
Submitted by: Jack Helser

Here are a few from Jack Helser, who also has a site:

There's nothing worse,
Than alternative verse,
Unless you count circumcision.
If I had to choose,
And I had it to lose,
I'd go with the Jewish tradition.

And also

Alternative prose definition,
Sounds like a faulty transmission.
What to my tender ears,
Sounds like grinding gears,
And the screams of one in perdition.

And finally,

Alternative prose,
Is only for those,
Who have no sense of time.
No need to repeat,
To establish a beat,
Nor make a damn thing rhyme.

September 9, 1998
Submitted by: Jim Muri

So now I'll begin:

Alternative verse, I suppose
Is a lot like the Emperors new clothes.
You try not to see
The fools bare as can be,
And you try not to see that its prose.

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