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Articles > Poetry > Suck It, Prose: Why Poetry is Superior

Suck It, Prose: Why Poetry is Superior

By Gary R. Hess. Category: Poetry

Prose is powerful. It's something we have all written one time or another. It's gorgeous. It's creative. It's imaginative.

But it isn't poetry.

Poetry isn't something everyone can successfully write (not that anyone can write prose successfully but far more people can at least make a decent effort at it). According to many writers, poetry is the highest and hardest literary genre.

And this is with good reason.

Meters, lines, stanzas, similes, onomatopoeia, rhymes, and all the other poetry techniques are what makes poetry so gosh darned complicated. But they also make it the best.

With poetry, we aren't just writing a story with great emotion. We are writing in emotion. We are writing in passion.

You see, poetry isn't a lot of things. It isn't straight-forward (most of the time), it isn't flat, and it isn't easy.

Flat? Yes, flat. As in, it isn't boring. As in, it doesn't have no sense of emotion. As in, it doesn't have no sense of story or meaning.

Poetry is anything but flat. Actually, with some poems you are able to read it three or four times and each time come to a new conclusion on what the poem is about and the metaphorical meaning behind it. That is far from "flat."

Of course, perhaps the comparison is a bit unfair. There are way too many types of poems (55 at my current count) to even give prose a fair shot at succeeding in a comparison between the two. That's because you can write a haiku and an idyll about the very same subject with the very same story and come up with two completely different types of work. You can't do that with prose. Sure, you can shorten a prose and take out some meat, but it will change the story and most likely it won't be as good.

You can write a fiction story or make it a novel or you can make it a screenplay or you can even make it an essay. However, the style of writing is essentially limited to a finite number.

Poetry is entirely a different beast. With the many available forms and elements, the obvious answer of which literature genre is superior shouldn't even be a question. It's laughable to even suggest prose as the winner between the two.

Of course, that doesn't mean you shouldn't dip your mind into a great book or write prose when you have to. It simply means that when push comes to shove that poetry is far superior in every way possible.

A quick example can be seen in haiku. The modern English version of haiku is said to be 5-7-5. That's only 17 total words. However, those 17 words can bring many various meanings depending on the type of punctuation used, the word arrangement, and word stresses. You can't easily write seventeen words in prose and come up with near as many meanings.