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Literary Term. Poetry vs. Prose Vivi Frear. Poetry . Definition: Poetry is an imaginative awareness of experience expressed through meaning, sound, and rhythmic language choices so as to evoke an emotional response. Poetry is almost always in stanzas. Example of Poetry. “Hug O War “

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  • Definition: Poetry is an imaginative awareness of experience expressed through meaning, sound, and rhythmic language choices so as to evoke an emotional response. Poetry is almost always in stanzas.
example of poetry
Example of Poetry

“Hug O War “

Author: Shel Silverstein

  • I will not play at Tug O WarI'd rather play at Hug O WarWhere everyone hugs, instead of tugs,Where everyone giggles and rolls on the rugs,Where everyone kisses and everyone grins,And everyone cuddles and everyone wins.
  • A writing in the form of a paragraph
  • Most books are written in prose
example of prose
Example of Prose
  • Example from Fahrenheit 451- pg 4 paragraph 3:

“He knew that when he returned to the firehouse, he might wink at himself, a minstrel man burnt-corked, in the mirror. Later going to sleep, he would feel the fiery smile still gripped by his face muscles, in the dark. It never went away, that smile, it never ever went away, as long as he remembered.”

the in between
The In Between
  • Often times prose will include alliteration making the text sound like poetry even though it is in the form of prose. However, it is still considered prose even though it may sound like poetry.
example of the in between
Example of the In Between
  • Example from Fahrenheit 451 page 79:

“…..The people who had been sitting a moment before, tapping their feet to the rhythm of Denham’s Dentifrice, Denham’s Dandy Dental Detergent , Denham’s Dentifrice Dentifirice Dentifrice one two, one two three, one two, one two three….”

poetry vs prose
Poetry Vs. Prose



  • Written in stanzas
  • Often times rhymes
  • Usually shorter than prose but not always
  • Examples of some famous poems are written by William Blake, Shel Silverstein, and Dr. Suess
  • Paragraph format
  • Can often contain rhyming words similar to poetry
  • Almost all prose is included in books you have read recently.
examples from the outsiders
Examples from The Outsiders



  • On page 69 in The Outsiders Ponyboy reads a poem to Johnny by Robert Frost called “Nothing gold can stay”

. Nature's first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf's a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay.

  • Prose is included throughout the whole novel. Everything in writing, that is in paragraph format is prose.
  • Pg 112 paragraph 3:

“Cherry Valance was sitting in her corvette by the vacant lot when we came by. Her long hair was pinned up, and in the daylight she looked even better. That stingray was one tuff car. A bright red one. It was cool.”

examples from the giver
Examples from The Giver



  • There were no examples of poetry in The Giver
  • The whole novel is an example of prose. It really demonstrates prose because all the writing is serious and there is no joking like material. It is a dead on example of prose.
  • Pg 55 paragraph 4:

“The discipline wand, in the hand of the childcare worker, whistled as it came down across Asher’s hands. Asher whimpered, cringed, and corrected himself instantly. “Snack” he whispered.”

example from fahrenheit 451
Example from Fahrenheit 451



  • In Fahrenheit 451 there is an example of poetry when Montag reads the poem to Mildred and her friends on page 100.
  • The Sea of Faith Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled. But now I only hear Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar, Retreating, to the breath Of the night wind, down the vast edges drear And naked shingles of the world.
  • Ah, love, let us be true To one another! for the world, which seems To lie before us like a land of dreams, So various, so beautiful, so new, Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light, Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain; And we are here as on a darkling plain Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night.
  • Once again, in Fahrenheit 451, prose is demonstrated throughout the whole novel in the paragraphs.
  • Pg 62 paragraph 2:

“Beatty shook Montag’s limp hand. Montage still sat, as if the house were collapsing about him and he could not move, in the bed. Mildred had vanished from the door.”

  • Write a paragraph describing the difference between poetry and prose. Use examples of both and where you can find them.