14 Honest Difference between Prose and Poetry with Table

What is the difference between prose and poetry?

Literature refers to creative work in the form of content to communicate or present a message. It can be in the form of prose and poetry depending on the choice of the creator.

The main difference between prose and poetry is that prose is the language in its original and natural form whereas poetry is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language to evoke meaning. 

The lesson provides the core difference between prose and poetry with a comparison chart for easier understanding. Let’s dive into the topic.

difference between prose and poetry

What Is Prose?

The prose is a form of literature where the author is capable of expressing their feeling in a lucid way or a more straightforward way.

The style of writing comprises the character, mood, plot, theme, settings, and point of view among many other things.

It is written using grammatical sentences to result in a paragraph supported by images but does not have a metrical structure.

Prose can be fictional, non-fictional, heroic, prose poetry, alliterative, village, and polyphonic among many others.

Examples of prose creative writing styles are biography, autobiography, memoir, essay, short stories, fairy tales, article, novel, and blog.

What Is Poetry?

Poetry refers to the type of literature where the poet uses a unique style and rhythm to present an intense experience.

The use of appropriate language and selective words help to arouse an imaginative feeling for expressing something special.

Poetry is mainly used to express the emotions, moments, ideas, experiences, feelings, and thoughts of the poet to the audience.

The key structural components of poetry that a poet needs to adhere to are lines, couplet, strophe, and stanza.

Comparison Chart: Prose Vs Poetry

Basic Terms Prose Poetry
Meaning It is a type of literature that uses language in a lucid way It is a type of literature that uses a unique style and wording to express the intense experience
Line breaks No Yes
Use Most everyday writing Reserve for expressing something in an aesthetic way
Type of language Tend to be straight forward Expressive or Decorated
Nature Pragmatic Imaginative
Paraphrasing Possible Not possible.
Appearance Large blocks Tend to vary depending on the intention of the poet
Capitalization The first letter on the sentence is capitalized The first letter of every line is capitalized
Ideas Arranged in paragraphs. Contained in lines that result in a stanza.
Essence Message or information Experience
Purpose To provide information or to convey a message. To delight or amuse.

Main Difference Between Prose and Poetry

  1. Prose can easily be understood by reading once whereas poetry requires more reading to be comprehended
  2. The language used in prose is more natural and grammatical while in poetry is figurative and rhythmic
  3. The ideas in prose are written in sentences which result in paragraphs whereas poetry is written in lines to result in stanza
  4. The writer in prose has no word limit whereas the poet has word limit in poetry
  5. Prose does not pay key attention to rhythm and rhyme whereas poetry pays attention to rhythm and rhyme.
  6. The language used in prose is more straight forward while poetry is figurative and decorative
  7. Poetry has line breaks whereas prose do not have line breaks
  8. The first word in a sentence of prose is capitalized whereas the first word in each line is capitalized
  9. The appearance of the prose is block form whereas poetry is shaped vary depending on the intent of the poet.
  10. Paraphrasing in prose is possible while in poetry is not possible
  11. The core function of prose is to provide information while poetry is to delight or amuse
  12. The nature of prose is pragmatic while that of poetry is imaginative
  13. The essence of prose is for information while poetry is for experience
  14. Prose uses a language that is original and natural whereas poetry uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language to evoke meaning.

Read More: Difference between Formative and Summative Assessment

Comparison Video


The core difference between prose and poetry is that prose uses straight forward way of expressing information whereas poetry uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities to evoke meaning.

More Sources and References

  • https://www.academia.edu/10573052/Prose_and_Poetry_A_Comparative_Study
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prose_poetry
  • https://www.britannica.com/art/poetry/Poetry-and-prose
  • https://www.cliffsnotes.com/cliffsnotes/subjects/literature/what-does-prose-and-poetry-mean-whats-the-difference

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