What is the difference between fiction and poetry?

The main difference between fiction and poetry is that fiction is literature in the form of prose that describes imaginary events and people, while poetry is literature that uses aesthetic and often rhythmic qualities of language.

"Fiction" is literature born from the writer's imagination: science fiction, fantasy , romance, fantasy, mysteries, crime novels, etc. In poetry, the language, meaning, sound, and rhythm are used by poets to evoke an imaginative awareness of experience or a certain emotional response.

Key areas covered

1. What is fiction - definition, features, types 2. What is poetry - definition, features, types 3. Similarities between fiction and poetry - outlines of common features 4. Difference between fiction and poetry - comparison of main differences

key terms

Fiction, poetry

Difference Between Fiction and Poetry - Comparative Summary

What is fiction

In general, fiction arises as a result of an author's imagination. Fiction consists of a story, characters, a plot or plot, dialogue, and a setting. A fictional work usually exposes readers to experiences they might never have firsthand in their real life, making them meet different types of people they might otherwise never meet and allowing them to places that they would otherwise never visit physically. In short, fiction helps the reader perceive the world and life in different, new and more interesting ways.

Fiction vs. Poetry

We can divide fiction into three main categories: short stories, short stories, and novels. As noted short story writer Edgar Allan Poe noted, a short story is a piece of writing that can be read in one sitting. Because of the limited length of a short story, it usually focuses on a single main storyline or a plot with a limited number of characters. In contrast, when compared to short stories, novels are longer and usually contain a relatively complex plot and more characters. In addition, a novel is a fictional work that is even more complex than a novella, as a novel often contains more than a single plot and more well-developed characters.

What is poetry

Poetry is a variety of literature that involves the interplay of rhythm and language. Poetry is often about rhyme and meter. There are many genres of poetry that have evolved over the decades: romantic poetry, war poetry, performance poetry, odes, ballads, etc. But whatever genre you come across, all of these categories have some common ground: In poetry, words are usually put together to form sounds, images, and ideas that would be too complicated or abstract to produce directly. Therefore, a poet's language is mostly ambiguous and full of poetic techniques.

Compare fiction and poetry

Centuries ago, especially during the Elizabethan and Augustan periods, poetry was written according to strict rules of metrics and rhyme and in a language that was beyond the understanding of the average person. Although these classic forms of poetry are still in practice today, modern poets have adapted their poetry into simpler structures and use less complex styles of language, making poetry more accessible to the common man.

In short, poets try to make their works unique and beautiful through rhythmic quality and through the use of words. In contrast to poetry, fiction runs without line breaks or rhythm.

Similarities Between Fiction and Poetry

  • Fiction and poetry are important parts of any literature
  • Both allow the reader to have experiences that he or she cannot have firsthand in real life.

Difference Between Fiction and Poetry


Fiction is literature in the form of prose that describes imaginary events and people, while poetry is literature that uses aesthetic and often rhythmic qualities of language.


In addition, fiction mainly involves prose, while poetry involves poetic language.


Poetry uses meter and rhythm while fiction does not involve meter and rhythm.


The three main genres of fiction are short stories, short stories, and novels, while there are many genres of poetry.


The main difference between fiction and poetry is that poetry uses rhythmic qualities of language while fiction does not. Whether it's fiction or poetry, if you're a huge fan of literature you can't help but enjoy both.


1. " Poetry 101: Learn about poetry, different types of poetry, and poetic devices with examples ." Master class. 2nd flower, ester. “ Fiction vs. Literature .” Barnes & Noble Reads, Barnes & Noble Reads, February 12, 2014.

Image courtesy:

1. " Book, poem, poetry, read, paper, text, library, books, poetry, publication " (CC0) via Pxfuel2. " Books on the Shelf " (CC0) via Pxhere

About the author: Anuradha

Anuradha holds a BA in English, French and Translation Studies. She is currently studying English literature in a second language context in the master’s course. Her areas of interest include arts and literature, language and education, nature and animals, cultures and civilizations, food and fashion.