What Is the Difference Between Poetry and Prose?

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Poetry typically follows some type of pattern while prose does not follow any formal patterns of verse. Most everyday writing is done in the form of prose.

Poetry is a form of written or spoken word that is done in a pattern that puts emphasis on the sound and rhythm of the words as well as the meaning. Poetry often involves rhyming, alliteration and other methods of artistic ornamentation. When poetry is written, it is often done with line breaks to indicate a change within the pattern.

In prose, the emphasis is on the meaning of the words without any ornamentation or pattern although it may use literary devices, such as alliteration. There are no line breaks and prose follows many standard grammar rules related to punctuation and capitalization. Prose also relies on paragraphs and chapters for structure. The word "prose" is derived from a Latin word, "prosa," that means "straightforward."