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Does Prose Rhyme?

Elsie Goycoolea
By Elsie Goycoolea. Updated: January 20, 2017
Does Prose Rhyme?

At school you may have learned that poetry is different from prose because it rhymes. In fact, prose doesn’t tend to follow a metrical structure but a grammatical structure that requires complete sentences and full paragraphs. It may sound difficult to use rhyme in prose when you have to follow certain writing rules such as making sure you don’t miss out on any prepositions, pronouns and making sure you keep up with proper spelling. However, the truth is that prose can rhyme in what we call rhymed prose or prose poetry.

In this OneHowTo article we answer the question: does prose rhyme?

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  1. Free verse
  2. Rhymed prose
  3. Prose poetry
  4. Does prose rhyme?

Free verse

Before we tackle if prose can rhyme let’s look at the opposite scenario and see if verse doesn’t always have to rhyme. Free verse is the term used to describe poetry that doesn’t have to follow the usual metrical structure, pattern or rhyme. This is not to be confused with poems that have little rhyming or unique rhyming schemes.

What makes free verse different from prose then is that it has an element of artistic expression and creativity that immediately reminds of poetry. Sentences are usually short and placed one under the other in a very elegant way. Also, the contents tend to be dramatic, abstract and highly cultivated.

Does Prose Rhyme? - Free verse

Rhymed prose

It is argued that rhymed prose comes from Arabic and Chinese cultures that used rhyme in order to tell stories to children. Rhyme is a technique that often helps with learning and memorization and thus was effective in teaching children. Many books aimed at children include some elements of rhyme today.

However, this is not a common literary branch and thus there aren’t many authors that have attempted to use rhymed prose. Given the need to follow a set of linguistics, it is often much harder to juggle rhyme and grammar without surrendering to either a fully rhymed piece or a clean prose story.

Does Prose Rhyme? - Rhymed prose

Prose poetry

While structure is one of the main elements that distinguishes poetry from prose, the fact is that poetry can be written in full paragraphs and in bullet point lists. Differently from rhymed prose, it is not about creating a prose piece using elements of rhyme; but writing a poem in a format that appears as prose.

At a very first glance, it may look as prose, but slowly you will realize that the same artistic elements found in poetry are incorporated into the piece. It is argued that this style developed from more recent writing styles where short sentences (often with grammar shortcomings) are used in different lengthened paragraphs. Think of how one-sentence or even one-word paragraphs are being used in online communication outlets today.

Does Prose Rhyme? - Prose poetry

Does prose rhyme?

Prose can rhyme in the same way that poetry or verse can go without perfectly patterned and rhymed structures. While there are strict rules to follow in both poetry and verse, often creativity and artistry can’t be contained and breaking these rules can deliver some of the best literary pieces. As opposed to choosing poetry or prose just start writing.

If you want to read similar articles to Does Prose Rhyme?, we recommend you visit our Learning category.

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Does Prose Rhyme?