Difference Between Poetry and Prose

What is prose and what is poetry?

Well, we hear both forms often in literature, but little do we know about their key differences. Contrary to what the majority of readers may say, it is still very important to discern how to distinguish one from the other, as much as it is important to know how to write or speak in the form of prose or poetry.

Poetry is art in itself. It is a rhythmical type of literary composition that usually serves to excite the readers. Either written down or spoken orally, poetry is characterized by an imaginative and attractive expression of one’s thoughts, usually in a elated manner. It is metrical, which means that poems are metered or structured.

Poetry also observes a sense of pattern that puts into consideration the words that connect each other, either in terms of sound or original word meanings. That’s why readers often encounter rhyming words in poetry. These rhymes act, not just as mere ornaments, but also help convey the overall meaning of the piece. In addition, poetry is represented in lines, and not sentences, and that’s why one can quickly distinguish the lines one, two, and so forth, for the entire piece

On the other hand, prose is quite ordinary; no wonder it is regarded by many as the most typical language form. Because of this, prose is observed in many areas of writing, most especially in newspapers, magazines, and even encyclopedias.

It is very similar to poetry in the sense that it can either be written or spoken, but without the metered and structured quality of its counterpart. Prose is characterized by being simple, common and not that expressive. Often, it is even regarded by literary experts as a dull form of expression. It is more informal, and that’s why readers find it a little disorganized to read. There may be slight rhythm and repetitions in the prose, but these are not significant enough to be noticed. The sentence is also considered to be its basic unit, wherein there are no line breaks, like observed in poetry.

Overall, prose and poetry differ in the following aspects:

  1. Poetry is more rhythmical, formal and metered in terms of structure compared to the more ordinary prose.
  2. Poetry is more expressive and attractive as opposed to the usual dull quality of prose.
  3. Lines are considered to be the basic units of poetry, whereas sentences fill the exact same role in the case of prose.
  4. Generally, poetry often has some rhymes and relationships between its words as opposed to their absence in prose.