Photo by Brion Hanks

Explaining their distinguishable traits seems easy enough. The prose contains a few blocks of text, while poetry is known for its few lines and flowery words. But how do we tell the difference even in their disparities?

Prose and poetry are literary works that can still be connected in many ways. For example, the book Tales of a Traveler in Poetry and Prose Along The Road Before Me by Brion Hanks contains healing words that make readers ponder the heartbreaking beauty of love and loss.

Brion Hanks intended to write inspirational poetry and prose, encouraging people to replace fear with faith as they process grief. Both forms of literature share a musical sentiment with a solid plot and well-written characters. The case of Brion Hanks’ book is directed at readers who are grieving and losing a loved one. Nevertheless, the contents are based on Brion Hanks’ personal experiences throughout his life and how he overcame them through faith in God.

Before discussing how both literary forms differ, let’s look into the parts where they overlap.

How do we define prose?

It can be seen as a typical writing style with the following: characters, plot line, mood, theme, point of view, setting, etc. Those are some of the distinguishable traits that make up what prose is. It also leans more on the technical side, with grammatical accuracy on the line, not to mention specific word count requirements and paragraph load.

In prose, elements like dialogue are obvious yet essential, as marked by quotation marks. Other times, they are backed with images that portray prose’s contents. And unlike poetry, it doesn’t follow a metrical structure. The systematic approach, however, is seen in the sequencing more than the technical structure of the literary form.

What does poetry mean?

We already know from the get-go what poetry looks like. But in light of this discussion, it’s still a form of literature that focuses more on imaginative feeling without regard for structure. However, that doesn’t equate to a messy state of metrical writing. Poetry still needs a few technical gears to run a whole body of work with a language that’s intricately arranged to charm the reader.

Those arrangements result in a pattern, cadence, and rhyme, the most known poetic traits. Poems are usually designed to communicate unique emotions particular to a singular theme throughout the verses. Apart from the structure of a poem, it also contains a whimsical set of intonations that are either stretching or skipping.

Those syllables are crucial in portraying the emotions, moments, ideas, experiences, thoughts, and feelings behind the verses. Otherwise, it would sound completely different had certain poems been read in a deadpan tone. And contrary to prose, which tends to be consumed on a personal level, verses are mostly recited in front of an audience to elevate their emotions.

What’s the best trick to tell the difference?

If there’s something you should remember, it is this: you need to understand their writing style. For example, prose has an ordinary sequence that can be written dryly. Meanwhile, poetry needs to be artistic to be appealing from the get-go. The aesthetic of a poem relies on emotion and imagination; however, the latter is also a crucial element in writing prose.

Anyone can tell apart poetry and prose with the blocks of text and feathery size for which they are known for. Fortunately, the book Brion Hanks wrote is a complete combination of both literary forms. Brion K. Hanks aims to share the healing power of poetry. He also aims to simultaneously express the impact of prose as he explores multiple themes of love, loss, and grief.

If you want to know more about the healing power of poetry, please visit