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Spring and All

Spring and All

by William Carlos Williams

Analysis: Form and Meter

Free Verse

This poem doesn’t have a regular meter, and the lines don’t rhyme. This is the stuff that English teachers call "free verse." Williams wasn’t real interested in the fancy traditions of poetry, and he was working hard to avoid getting stuck in old ways of doing things. He needed a poetic style that was modern, unpretentious, and direct, and that’s pretty much what he got in his poem. Now, we don’t want to sound defensive, but it’s always important to see that just because it doesn’t rhyme or have an even rhythm doesn’t mean that a poem doesn’t have any form. The choice of words, the arrangement of the lines, and the use of images in this poem are all very precise, and designed to create specific effects.

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