Let me start by saying your response did not come across as mansplaining at all, merely a personal…
Tamyka Bell

Awesome discussion on form, free verse, and inspiration!

As an undergraduate student of rhetoric and composition, my mantra has always been to have a reason for every action you take in the creation of the poem — intentionality is the word we used. To be intentional with every word, line break, metrical moment, etc. is the only way that I can write free verse and write it well.

When it comes to form, I totally agree with your description of it, Tamyka. I’m reminded of another sort of writing rule I learned once (possibly from Stephen King): learn the rules before you break them. When it comes to this, your free verse can only be made stronger by knowing the forms and the historical connotations of them. A free verse poem that happens to be 13 lines long might be made better by another line break to reference the sonnet, or truncated by one line and broken into couplets.

And the classic Picasso quote:

“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”
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