1. gnuwriter30

    gnuwriter30 New Member

    Mar 13, 2008
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    North Carolina, USA

    What is the difference?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by gnuwriter30, Mar 13, 2008.

    I don't know if this the right place for this question. What is the definition of a prose? What is the difinition of prose poem? Is there a difference between the two. Is a Prose, poetry? If so, what makes a prose a poem? When is a stanza not a prose? How do you know when it is a prose or a stanza? Can you give me some examples? I think I know the answers to these questions but I am not sure if I do or not. I have written some of what I think are poems but I have been told on another website that they are not poems but I am not sure if those peolpe know what they are talking about or not that is why I am asking this plus I am not sure myself. Please give specific detailed answers because I have trouble understanding things sometimes. Thanks in advance for your replies.
  2. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
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    Massachusetts, USA
    Prose means straightforward writing, i.e. not cast into verse; conversational writing. Basically, it is writing as the average person might speak, as opposed to a structured presentation using devices such as rhyming, rhythm/meter, imaginative wording.

    Prose is usually used to signify fiction, or occasionally nonfiction, that is structured into sentences, paragraphs, chapters and the like, but without a

    Poetry is equally difficult to nail down to a "hard" definition. Poetry is language structured into lines and verses, in which the structure is part of the presentation. This means that if you string a poem into a single line, you significantly alter the message.

    Poetry is structured into lines (a single line of text ending with a carriage return or equivalent), and verses (groups of lines collected in a single block). Verses are generally separated by a blank line, analogously to paragraphs in prose.

    Poetry is also usually characterized by strong imagery, and may also contain rhyming schemes and other sound-related techniques, and often have a metric structure in a pattern of beats that repeats (with variations) within the poem. Not all poems must have all of these elements, but if none are present, the poetry degenerates to nothing more than broken prose. Some have chosen to kindly refer to this as prose poetry.

    The distinctions, however, really are fuzzy. Poetry is perhaps the most difficult form of writing to do well, and trends such as free-form poetry have given rise to the argument that any collection of words, broken into more or less similar length lines and stacked one atop another is a poem.

    In my opinion, such a position has led inevitably to the loss of respect for poetry as an art form, to the point that poetry books are no longer particularly marketable.
  3. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon
    too sadly true, cog!... added to the reason you give there for poetry books not being marketable is that while everybody and his/her cousins seem to think they can write poetry if they can rhyme words, or churn out inscrutable stream of consciousness gluck, next to nobody reads poetry for pleasure, or is willing to pay good money for it...

    poetry is the most refined of all the written arts and if one isn't a much better than average writer to begin with, dabbling in poetry isn't likely to produce good poems... to write poetry of any lasting literary worth, one really has to devote oneself to studying and practicing it as an art form and not just treating it as a hobby...

    gnu... btw, it's not referred to as 'a prose' but just 'prose'... here are definitions of the two writing forms:

    hope that helps... love and hugs, maia

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