Prose and Poetry Enjoyment and Appreciation

Brenda T. Weitzman

Prose and poetry are the two common forms of the literary discourse. Although we are not aware of this, at least in two ways we can react to discourses. Specifically, we can enjoy or appreciate them. The key to true appreciation is enjoyment and this depends largely on your attitude to literature in general.

Enjoyment must not be confused with appreciation. For instance, we often enjoy a poem without fully understand its meaning. The reason has to do with the nature of the genres. Poetry calls attention primarily to the “music” of the words, while prose, for its meaning. Prose is the kind of writing that does not fit a recognized poetical form, that is, it does not have metrical structure. In prose, a writer may express herself more directly. We might gain pleasure from a poem without knowing to explain why it is so.

Actually, when one reads prose, she must pay attention to what the author actually has to say. In other words, the meaning always comes first. Conversely, when one reads a poem it is possible to pay more attention to the way a poet says something. Poetic language fits a rigid pattern. Poetry shows some sort of definite regularity in prosodic form, that is, some pattern of lines, pitches, or stresses.

Appreciation relates to reasoning. Before you can discuss the meaning of the text, it’s necessary to know what type of text it is you are reading. This will help to discern the writer’s intentions easily. Poetry – like prose – is an art of sounds. In order to appreciate a poem, we should note there are four main types of poems, to know: descriptive, reflective, narrative, and the lyric. Poetry uses sense devices. For instance, simile, metaphor, and personification.

In order to appreciate a prose passage, one should remember that not all prose is alike. Types of prose are: narrative, descriptive, and argumentative. Narrative tells a story; it focuses on actions. Descriptive describes scenes, objects, people, or even persons’ feelings. Argumentative deals with ideas and facts. Note that argumentative is the most difficult type of prose, because each sentence logically adds something to the main argument. Sometimes it is not easy to follow an argumentative text. Often the argument is nuanced: there are subtle shades of meaning or expression. So, the reading must be very attentive. In order to fully appreciate a text, it is important to note how writers compose and develop their thoughts, ideas, and emotions.

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