Difference Between Prose and Poetry

What is prose and what is poetry? We often hear about these two forms of literature , but some people do not know the fundamental differences between one thing and the other; which is why it is very important to distinguish between these two concepts.  Difference Between Prose and Poetry

POETRY  Difference Between Prose and Poetry

Poetry is said to be art itself. It is a type of rhythmic literary composition, which is generally intended to arouse emotions in readers. Whether transmitted orally or in writing, poetry is characterized by the imaginative and engaging expression of thought. It is metric, which means that the poems follow a structure; they follow a pattern and consider the words that are connected to each other, either by their sounds or by their meanings.

Poetry example:  Here we have a sonnet by Francisco de Quevedo.

I hug fugitive shadows; 
in dreams my soul gets tired; 
I fight alone night and day 
with a goblin that I carry in my arms. 

When I want to tie him more tightly with ties, 
and seeing my sweat, he deviates me, 
I return with new strength to my persistence, and fearfully 
they tear me to pieces. 

I am going to avenge myself in a vain image
that does not leave  my eyes; 
Make fun of me, and from making fun of me, run proudly. 

I begin to follow her, I am lacking courage; 
And as I want to reach her, 
I make the tears run after her in rivers.

Something that stands out in poetry is rhyme (although there is also poetry without it). Rhymes not only act as mere ornaments, but also help convey the overall message or meaning of the poems. Poetry has verses and stanzas, rather than sentences and paragraphs.


On the other hand, prose is much more similar to the natural way in which people speak, it is not surprising that it is considered by many as the typical way in which the language is expressed. Prose is not subject to rhythm and rhyme, nor is it composed of verses and stanzas; but by sentences and paragraphs.

Prose example:  fragment of The Little Prince.

“It is a thing that has already been forgotten,” said the fox, “it means” to create ties … “
-Create ties?
“Indeed, you will see,” said the fox. You are still for me no more than a little boy equal to a hundred thousand other boys. And I don’t need you. You don’t need me either. I am only a fox to you among a hundred thousand other such foxes. But if you tame me, then we will need each other. You will be unique to me in the world, I will be unique to you in the world.
“I am beginning to understand,” said the little prince. There is a flower … I think she has tamed me …

The prose is more informal, there may be some slight rhythm or repetitions; but these two elements are not essential to write in this way. While it is true that both prose and poetry use all kinds of literary figures, these predominate more in the latter.

The prose is not subject to measure.

Key differences between prose and poetry

  • Prose is not metric, but poetry is.
  • Poetry has rhythm and rhyme, but these two elements are not essential for prose.
  • Poetry aims to awaken emotions in the reader, while prose can have many purposes.
  • In general, poetry has verses and stanzas, while prose is made up of sentences and paragraphs.

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