Poetry essay: Expressing ideas: prose or poetry

As a writer, you want to express ideas.  It could be ideas about something you care about, something that happened to you, or something you want to communicate.  When you set out to express ideas, you have two choices among others: you could express the ideas through prose or through poetry.

Expressing ideas through prose

Expressing ideas through prose can have some advantages over poetry.

First, you can write something lengthy.  Although a poem might be limited to a few lines or maybe a page, prose can be many pages long without seeming to be long.

Second, you can express ideas directly.  You can write plainly about what you want to communicate without ideas being hidden by the metaphor and symbolism that can be found in poetry.

Third, with prose you can reach a different audience than poetry might reach.  Your prose can take the form of an essay, an article, a short story, or something else.  You can find different outlets for these types of communication than you can with poetry and through that you can reach a different audience.

Fourth, with prose you can write about details related to something.  You can go in depth into a topic and touch on all the points about it that you want.

Fifth, because prose isn’t subject to form elements like poetry, you can focus fully on the idea you want to express without focusing as much on how you express it.

Expressing ideas through poetry

Just as prose has some advantages over poetry, poetry has some advantages over prose.

First, with poetry you can focus on just one aspect or scene of something.  You can focus on one thing without having to tell the whole story.

Second, poetry has the benefit of the idea of less being more.  When you only use a few words to describe something, the succinctness can add impact.

Third, you can write many poems about the same idea.  You can cover different aspects of the idea or present things in different ways.  This is harder to do with prose which can be a longer form of expression.

Fourth, because poetry focuses more on how something is said relative to prose, the words you use to describe an idea can have greater impact.

Fifth, you can utilize metaphor and symbolism to a greater extent in poetry than in prose.  This can be important if you don’t want to write directly about something or want to emphasize an idea.


The method you choose to convey an idea will depend on what you are writing about, how you want to write about it, and how you want the message to get across.  Prose can be better for some situations and poetry for others.  It depends on what you want to accomplish.

Experimental Poetry Form: Symmetry

Lines: 8
Rhyming pattern: TRRTTRRT
Syllables per line: 8

Stressed = S
Unstressed = U

This experimental poetry form is characterized by symmetry.  There is a symmetry of stresses in each line (SUUS/SUUS) and this same symmetry is in the rhyming pattern (TRRT/TRRT).

Here is an example poem:

Quickly it closed against the wood,
except it was slowly pulled shut,
indeed its force formed a small rut,
not as the past exclaimed it should.
Because the wind blew there it could,
loudly close it, the way so cut,
forcefully closing the way but,
not as the thought closing it would.

One aspect of this experimental poetry form is a compromise between prose and lyricism.  The form is not written as a prose paragraph would be, but it does not have as much flow as a more lyrical meter pattern might have.  It is somewhere in between.  This experimental poetry form is useful in situations where a poet wants a poem to have this meter quality: somewhere in between prose and lyricism.

Please feel free to use this experimental poetry form to write a poem.