Different types of free verse poems are often categorized based on their subject area or similar structure, despite the freedom a poet may have in creating the work. Since these poems do not inherently have the similarities of form that other poems, such as sonnets, have, categorizing them can be more difficult. Many of these poems are found to regard similar subject matter, however, and so some of these works may be arranged based on these subjects. There are also similarities in the ways that different poets can structure their free verse poems and these categories may be considered as well.
Free verse poetry typically refers to any sort of poem written in a style free of rigid rules regarding the rhyme, meter, and overall structure. This is in great contrast to some other types of poetry, such as sonnets, haiku, and limericks, which are directly built on a standardized structural concept. While free verse poems are not written within the confines of any one style, there is typically still a sense of structure that make the work recognizable as a poem. Free verse poetry is not typically random or chaotic in nature, unless written that way to convey a greater message.
One of the most common ways to categorize free verse poems is by the subject matter. Nature is a common theme or subject in many different types of poetry; since nature itself is often seen as outside the bounds of humanity’s rules, it can be written about in a similar way to better emphasize this idea. There are also a number of poems written about the Modern and Post-modern ideas that arose in the 20th century. This is because many of these ideas were seen as revolutionary or intended as breaking free of rigid ideas from the past, and the format of such poems was intended to follow that theme.
Some free verse poems can also be categorized and discussed with regard to what types of structure a poet chooses to impose upon the poem itself. A group of poets may, for example, choose to write poems with fairly short stanzas that express single ideas and lines that might be read aloud, creating a natural and conversational rhythm for the poem. Other poets, however, could write in longer streams of consciousness that are initially difficult to read and follow. These free verse poems often reflect the themes of the poems themselves within the structure of the poem, allowing both form and function to operate together and help organize the various types of poems.