Is "Death Rains' by Mary Ndlovu written in blank verse or free verse?

Expert Answers
hannahhunt09 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Technically, this poem was originally part of Geoffrey Chaucer's Prologue to The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer's style is usually iambic pentameter, meaning ten syllables or five metric "feet" of a stressed and an unstressed syllable in each line. He often uses rhyming schemes to create additional structure. In this prologue to his most famous work, he uses a series of rhyming couplets in iambic pentameter.

Mary Ndlovu's translated selection, called "Death Rains" and often used as a selection for declamation, speech, or forensic competitions, is re-written from Chaucer's original piece. The selection seems similar to blank verse, which is in iambic pentameter but does not rhyme. However, there are not ten syllables in each line, and her lines do not rhyme, therefore "Death Rains" is actually in free verse.

Kathryn Draney eNotes educator| Certified Educator
  • "Death Rains," by Mary Ndlovu, is written in free verse.