Words in prose are grouped into sentences, which make paragraphs. In a poem, however, words are grouped into lines, which might be a single metrical line or a collection of lines, known as stanzas. A writer or author writes prose, whereas a poet writes poems.
The basic difference is that prose uses logical connections between ideas while poetry often uses images to connect with the reader's mind instead of using only logic. However, some poets such as John Milton used prose as well as verse to connect with their readers.
Another difference is that prose is written in short sentences while poems usually have longer sentences.
Yet another difference is that poems tend to follow a regular pattern of sound (or meter) while prose does not. For example, poems usually have clear divisions between words called lines or stanzas while prose can have very little punctuation apart from periods, commas, semicolons, and colons.
Prose also tends to be more detailed and use many specific examples while poems are generally more general and touch on many different topics.
In addition, poems usually contain images or thoughts that are difficult to express in language alone while prose works rely more on words to explain their ideas.
Poetry is made of metrical lines that form stanzas rather than sentences that create paragraphs, as does prose. However, both poetry and prose consist of words that are arranged into phrases or clauses that describe or explain something mentioned before. Thus, the poetic equivalent of a sentence is a clause while that of a paragraph is a stanza.
Prose contains features that distinguish it from verse. They are as follows: Lines that continue. There is no rhyme or metric system (i.e., iambic pentameter) for prose. Instead, there are words and phrases that occur more often than others, called "syllables." A syllable is the basic unit of sound in language - like the drumbeat in a drum line or the note in an organ chord. Each word or phrase has an equal number of syllables. The most common type of prose sentence has an initial word or phrase followed by a punctuation mark, a second word or phrase, and then a punctuation mark at the end. This pattern is repeated until one full thought is completed.
Here are some other characteristics of prose: Sentences that contain topics and sentences that don't. Prose uses language to tell a story or make a point. Other times, when the writer wants to focus on just one idea, she will use a "topic sentence" to do so. The rest of the sentence may describe something that has happened, what someone thinks, or anything else under the sun.
Prose poetry is written in paragraphs rather than verse, but it incorporates elements of poetry such as poetic meter, linguistic play, and a concentration on imagery rather than narrative, plot, and character. Meter refers to a poem's rhythm, which includes the amount of syllables per line and which syllables are stressed. Linguistic play involves using words in unusual ways to achieve effects such as humor or irony. Imagery is the use of figures of speech such as similes and metaphors to create vivid images in readers' minds. Narrative poetry is written in sequences of lines with a beginning, middle, and end. It tells a story through the arrangement of words on the page.
In general, prose is written in sentences and consists of a list of words without any particular order. It can be difficult to distinguish between poetic and non-poetic prose because both types of writing use language to communicate information and ideas. Poetry tends to use more abstract language and visual images to make its points while regular prose uses ordinary language and explanations instead. For example, when describing a person cooking dinner, one might say "he put salt into the water to help the vegetables cook" in regular prose or "the rainbow arises from the water vapor in the atmosphere reflected by raindrops suspended in space" in poetic prose.
One way to tell if something is poetic prose is to see if it sounds like poetry when read aloud.