free verse. A kind of poetry that does not conform to any regular metre: the length of its lines is irregular, as is use of rhyme—if any. Instead of a regular metrical pattern it uses more flexible cadences or rhythmic groupings, sometimes supported by anaphora and other devices of repetition. Now the most widely pratised verse form in English, it has precedents in translations of the biblical Psalms and in some poems of Blake and Goethe, but established itself only in the late 19th and early 20th centuries with Walt Whitman, the French Symbolists, and the poets of modernism. Free verse should not be confused with blank verse, which does observe a regular metre in its unrhymed lines. [Baldick, 1990]