Poetry and Prose Let’s begin. What is poetry? What is prose? What makes them different?
The structure of poetry: Poems are made up of verses. A verse is known as a metrical composition. And a metrical composition/ verse is a group of lines that form a unit in a poem or song. Poems always have a stanza. A stanza is just a set of lines and sentences grounded by rhythmical pattern. You can see an example on the next slide.
The structure of poetry: If you listen to modern day songs on the radio, you’ll notice that most of them are composed of three verses. Usually the format is 1’st verse – chorus – 2’nd verse – chorus – 3’rd verse – chorus I’ve attached an example on the following slide.
The structure of poetry: Poems are linear. They have line breaks that go against the rules of grammar. Poetry looks like the writer wrote on a tiny piece of paper. In fact the writer had plenty of room to write, instead they chose to write in this fashion on purpose. You can see on the left hand side of the slide, we call this linear.
Quick summary: Poems are written in verses. Poems are linear. Grammar is not required to write poetry. Poetry must have rhythm.
All about Prose and what makes them different to poetry: Prose come in paragraphs and follow the laws of grammar. Some examples of prose are your everyday speech, novels, essays, news articles, the law etc. The sentences in this style of composition are written in ordinary language, meaning that they’re often easier to read and understand in contrast to poetry. Prose compositions are packaged in a more digestible way, because the structure is our natural language. There is a lot more spoken and written prose than there are poems. Prose don’t require rhythm.
The purpose of poetry: The general purpose of a poem is to strive for aesthetic beauty. Whether it is to provide a perspective on philosophy, be humorous or share a personal experience. A poem looks to do so in a way that is deemed attractive. There is an example on the next slide.
The purpose of poetry: Poetry is driven by imagery. Read the next poem and quickly draw a picture of what you imagine.
The purpose of prose: Prose compositions are more straight forward, and they can be beautiful. The general purpose of prose is to pass along information as efficiently as possible. Prose may provoke a specific emotion from the reader, but this type of composition doesn’t necessarily require the writer to achieve that. This type of composition typically has a plot, different characters and a story line.
An example of poetry: “Is that foolish youth still sawing the good branch he’s sitting on? Do the orchard and hill wheeze because of it, And the few remaining apples sway? Can he see the village and the valley the way a chicken hawk would?” “Ancient Autumn” by Charles Simic
An example of prose: Is that young boy still squandering and not appreciating the good in his life? Are those around him affected by his foolishness and fear of what might happen to themselves because of it? I wonder how sharp his perception is and if he can see the consequences of his actions.
Which composition style is better and why?
An example of poetry: “Every year without knowing it I have passed the day when the last fires will wave to me and the silence will set out tireless traveler like the beam of a lightless star.” “For the anniversary of my death” by William S. Merwin
An example of prose: Every year without knowing it, there is a day on the calendar in which will become the anniversary of my death. The day I take my last breath and will become nothing but a memory.
Summary of Poetry: Poems are written in verses and they are linear. Poems rhythm and are driven by imagery. Poems aspire to share an emotion.
Summary of Prose: Prose is written in paragraphs and the structure is grammatically correct. Prose is a composition style used to effecitively communicate and is similar to everyday speech.