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Literature Glossary

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Over 200 literary terms, Shmooped to perfection.

Prose Poem

Definition:

Prose + Poetry = Prose Poem

Okay, okay, allow us to explain this paralyzing paradox.

If you're reading a poem that's written in prose, well, you're reading a prose poem. Do the lines go all the way to the margin without breaking? Is it poetic in sound and sense? Boom. Prose poem.

These can be tough nuts to crack. Couldn't you just be reading flash fiction? Or a really short story? In short, yes. But we promise—you'll know a prose poem when you see it. And half the fun is in the debate if you're not quite sure.