Poetry and Prose - What is the Difference?

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In this lesson, students will learn how to distinctly identify or use the two main methods of communicating a literary message to the audience.
1. Poetry and Prose: What’s the Difference?
Nearly all writing shares the goal of communicating a message to an
audience, but how that message is communicated can differ greatly.
The divisions between poetry and prose aren’t clear-cut, but here are some
generally accepted differences.
Prose Poetry
Most everyday writing is in prose Poetry is typically reserved for
form. expressing something special in an
artistic way.
The language of prose is typically The language of poetry tends to be
straightforward without much more expressive or decorated, with
decoration. comparisons, rhyme, and rhythm
contributing to a different sound and
Ideas are contained in sentences that Ideas are contained in lines that may
are arranged into paragraphs. or may not be sentences. Lines are
arranged in stanzas.
There are no line breaks. Sentences Poetry uses line breaks for various
run to the right margin. reasons—to follow a formatted
rhythm or to emphasize an idea.
Lines can run extremely long or be as
short as one word or letter.
The first word of each sentence is Traditionally, the first letter of every
capitalized. line is capitalized, but many modern
poets choose not to follow this rule
Prose looks like large blocks of The shape of poetry can vary
words. depending on line length and the
intent of the poet.