Difference between prose and verse

The prose it is a freer style of expression, in which we write without adhering to guidelines such as meter, rhyme or cadence. In prose, sentences do not have to rhyme. It is a discursive genre specific to narration, essay, academic or journalistic article, etc.

The verse it is subject to the set of rules of the metric, so its writing must respect certain parameters.

The difference between prose and verse it has to do, essentially, with compliance with certain rules that define each of these forms of expression.

What is prose?

The prose it is a natural expression of language, in which there are no rules of rhyme, cadence or sonority. It is said to be a natural expression because it allows us to communicate ideas in the same way as we think them, without attending to rules or structures beyond those dictated by the grammar and spelling of each language.

Because of its ease of being written, narrated, read and interpreted, prose is the most common genre of narrative language. That is why it is used in academic, informative, entertainment texts, essays, legal documents, literature (except traditional poetry), stories, etc.

Example of prose text

I came to Comala because I was told that my father, a certain Pedro Páramo, lived here. My mother told me. And I promised her that I would come to see him so she died. I shook his hands as a sign that I would; so she was about to die and I was planning to promise everything.

Juan Rulfo, Pedro Paramo.

what is verse

The verse it is a form of expression that is subject to a set of rules where the sonority of the words and the rhythm of the sentences are fundamental. It is the classic structure of poetic compositions.

In verse writing, therefore, the author uses certain rhythmic structures, such as measure, rhyme or pauses. In this sense, there are different types of verse, depending on the type of poetic composition that is made:

rhymed verse

When in the narrative structure there is a consonant rhyme (coincidence of vowel and consonant sounds in different verses).

Example of rhyming verse

The glow of the stars shinesyou have
I don’t trade for the lived they changeyou have
of opal, pearl or diamondsyou have.

Julià de Casal, In the field.

loose verse

They are verses that do not rhyme.

Example of loose verse

While the waves of light in the kiss
Palpitine lights up;
While the sun strips the clouds
Of fire and gold seen;

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, Ten centuries of Castilian poetry

White verse

It happens when the verses have no rhyme but no measure, since they have a constant number of syllables (11, 12, or 13 syllables).

Example of white verse

More head of all I can name

more barbaric than me, then against art

I dare to give precepts, and I leave

to bring from the vulgar current, where

call me ignorant of Italy and France;

but what can i do if i have writings,

with one I finished this week,

four hundred and eighty-three comedies?

Lope de Vega, New art of making comedies at this time.

Verses are also classified according to the number of syllables they contain. In this sense, it can be of lesser or greater art.

Verses of minor art

When the verses have between two and eight syllables.

Example of minor art verse

Spring has come

Nobody knows what it’s been like.

Antonio Machado, Spring has come.

Verses of major art

They are verses that have nine syllables or more.

Example of larger art verse

Youth, divine treasure,
you’re leaving to never come back!
When I want to cry, I don’t cry…
and sometimes i cry unintentionally…
Rubén Darío, Song of Autumn in Spring.

free verse

It is one whose composition is independent of the rules of the metric, although it adheres to other forms, milder and more discreet, of sonority.

Example of free verse

The universe has jagged edges
and it’s all in a very rare new color
of an unknown philatelic name
the universe
he wanted to kiss God
and when crossing a flight of angels
it stuck to the cheek
the slowest
that of the wings in a crest of fire.
Gerardo Diego, The seal.

See also:

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