Literature refers to written creative work, particularly those which have a high and enduring value. It is known for its form in which the message is presented or communicated and its content. Prose and poetry are the two common forms of literature; wherein prose is written work, which contains sentences and paragraphs, and does not have any metrical structure. As against, poetry is a genre of literature which is based on a particular form, that creates a rhyme.
The basic difference between prose and poetry is that we have sentences and paragraphs, whereas lines and stanzas can be found in a poetry. Further, there is regular writing in prose, but there is a unique style of writing a poetry.
We can find prose in newspaper articles, blogs, short stories, etc., however, poetry is used to share something special, aesthetically. To know more on this topic, you can read the other differences below:
Content: Prose Vs Poetry
|Basis for Comparison||Prose||Poetry|
|Meaning||Prose is a straight forward form of literature, wherein the author expresses his thoughts and feelings in a lucid way||Poetry is that form of literature in which the poet uses a unique style and rhythm, to express intense experience.|
|Language||Straight Forward||Expressive or Decorated|
|Essence||Message or information||Experience|
|Purpose||To provide information or to convey a message.||To delight or amuse.|
|Ideas||Ideas can be found in sentences, which are arranged in paragraph.||Ideas can be found in lines, which are arranged in stanzas.|
|Paraphrasing||Possible||Exact paraphrasing is not possible.|
Definition of Prose
The prose is an ordinary writing style in literature, which encompasses characters, plot, mood, theme, the point of view, setting, etc. making it a distinctive form of language. It is written using grammatical sentences, which forms a paragraph. It may also include dialogues, and is sometimes, supported by images but does not have a metrical structure.
Prose can be fictional or non-fictional, heroic, alliterative, village, polyphonic, prose poetry etc.
Biography, autobiography, memoir, essay, short stories, fairy tales, article, novel, blog and so forth use prose for creative writing.
Definition of Poetry
Poetry is something that arouses a complete imaginative feeling, by choosing appropriate language and selective words and arranging them in a manner that creates a proper pattern, rhyme (two or more words having identical ending sounds) and rhythm (cadence of the poem).
Poetry uses an artistic way to communicate something special, i.e. a musical intonation of stressed (long sounding) and unstressed (short sounding) syllables to express or describe emotions, moments, ideas, experiences, feelings and thoughts of the poet to the audience. The structural components of poetry include lines, couplet, strophe, stanza, etc.
Key Differences Between Prose and Poetry
The difference between prose and poetry can be drawn clearly on the following grounds:
- Prose refers to a form of literature, having ordinary language and sentence structure. Poetry is that form of literature, which is aesthetic by nature, i.e. it has a sound, cadence, rhyme, metre, etc., that adds to its meaning.
- The language of prose is quite direct or straightforward. On the other hand, in poetry, we use an expressive or creative language, which includes comparisons, rhyme and rhythm that give it a unique cadence and feel.
- While the prose is pragmatic, i.e. realistic, poetry is figurative.
- Prose contains paragraphs, which includes a number of sentences, that has an implied message or idea. As against, poetry is written in verses, which are covered in stanzas. These verses leave a lot of unsaid things, and its interpretation depends upon the imagination of the reader.
- The prose is utilitarian, which conveys a hidden moral, lesson or idea. Conversely, poetry aims to delight or amuse the reader.
- The most important thing in prose is the message or information. In contrast, the poet shares his/her experience or feelings with the reader, which plays a crucial role in poetry.
- In prose, there are no line breaks, whereas when it comes to poetry, there are a number of line breaks, which is just to follow the beat or to stress on an idea.
- When it comes to paraphrasing or summarizing, both prose and poetry can be paraphrased, but the paraphrase of the poem is not the poem, because the essence of the poem lies in the style of writing, i.e. the way in which the poet has expressed his/her experience in verses and stanzas. So, this writing pattern and cadence is the beauty of poetry, which cannot be summarized.
How to remember the difference
The best trick to remember the difference between these two is to understand their writing style, i.e. while prose is written ordinarily, poetry has aesthetic features, and so it has a distinctive writing pattern.
Further, the prose is that form of language which expansively conveys a message or meaning by way of a narrative structure. On the contrary, poetry is such a form of literature, with a unique writing format, i.e. it has a pattern, rhyme and rhythm.
In addition to this, prose appears like big blocks of words, whereas the size of poetry may vary as per the line length and the poet’s intention.