Some of the great writers in history are defined as poets, and their use of language is not the same as those famed for their short stories. In a short story, an author employs the same type of language that any person of their time and culture might use to write a story, whereas a poet structures language very differently, using techniques such as rhythm (or meter) and rhyme.
A short story is usually written in fictional prose. Fictional writing can be defined as any narrative that is not based in fact. Prose language is standard written language, the same sort of writing you would use in a letter to a friend. The word "prosaic" can be used to refer to the dull or commonplace, but that does not mean prose language has to be boring, as the range of great short stories written through the ages proves. As the name suggests, a short story is far shorter and less involved than a full-length novel and might, for example, involve the setup and resolution of a specific situation, rather than the detailed exploration of characters that is common in a novel.
The word "poetry" comes from the ancient Greek verb "to create." While a short story is usually written in recognizable sentences, a poem is composed of lines, which may not observe the usual grammatical rules. Furthermore, rather than being organized into paragraphs, a poem is made up of verses, or stanzas. Laid out on a page, a poem will not resemble the prose used in a novel or short story. In a poem, words are often chosen not just for their functional, prose meaning, but for their sound, or feel.
Example of the Beginning of a Short Story
"In the old days Hortons Bay was a lumbering town. No one who lived in it was out of sound of the big saws in the mill by the lake. Then one year there were no more logs to make lumber." -- "The End of Something" by Ernest Hemingway
Example of the Beginning of a Poem
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers. -- "The Waste Land" by T.S. Eliot
- Photo Credit amanaimagesRF/amana images/Getty Images
Similarities Between a Short Story And A Play
Similarities Between a Short Story & a Play. ... The Difference Between Short Stories & Poems; Three Major Differences & Similarities Between...
What Is a Narrative Poem?
A narrative poem is one that tells a story. It follows a similar structure as that for a short story or novel....
What is Poetry?
The main difference between poetry and prose, however, is music. ... It follows a similar structure as that for a short story...
Three Types of Literature
The short story as a specific art form developed later, in the 19th Century, ... What Is a Rhyme Scheme in Poetry?...
Similarities & Differences Between Poetry & Rap
Rap is one of the biggest selling music genres today, and many rap artists also consider themselves modern day poets, as do...
Difference Between Novels & Fiction Books
The Differences Between Short Stories & Novels. ... The Difference Between Short Stories & Poems. Some of the great writers in history...
Difference Between Literal and Figurative Language
The difference between literal and figurative language is that when you speak, read or write literal language, ... When you write poetry...
How to Teach Genres to Third Graders
Understanding the differences between genres at an early age can help students better understand fiction. A genre ... (poetry, lists, dialogue, short...
How to Analyze a Poem
Dissect a piece of poetry, looking especially for change in the character or tone, ... How to Generate Short Story Ideas. How...
Compare & Contrast Two Short Stories by Alice Walker
Compare & Contrast Two Short Stories by Alice Walker. ... you are discussing the similarities between the two poems. ... No matter...