Poetry 101: What Is the Difference Between Blank Verse and Free Verse?

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Aug 16, 2021 • 6 min read

Despite their similar names, free verse poems and blank verse poems are very different. Free verse poetry has been popular from the nineteenth century onward and is not bound by rules regarding rhyme or meter. Blank verse poetry came of age in the sixteenth century and has been famously employed by the likes of William Shakespeare, John Milton, William Wordsworth, and countless others. Unlike free verse, it adheres to a strong metrical pattern.