This article is about the language form. For types of prose pdf term uses, see Pro se.
For the American author, see Francine Prose. Prose is a form of language that exhibits a natural flow of speech and grammatical structure rather than a rhythmic structure as in traditional poetry, where the common unit of verse is based on meter or rhyme. There are critical debates on the construction of prose: ” the distinction between verse and prose is clear, the distinction between poetry and prose is obscure”.
Prose in its simplicity and loosely defined structure is broadly adaptable to spoken dialogue, factual discourse, and to topical and fictional writing. The word “prose” first appears in English in the 14th century. Isaac Newton in The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms wrote “The Greek Antiquities are full of Poetical Fictions, because the Greeks wrote nothing in Prose, before the Conquest of Asia by Cyrus the Persian.
Then Pherecydes Scyrius and Cadmus Milesius introduced the writing in Prose. Prose lacks the more formal metrical structure of verse that can be found in traditional poetry. Some works of prose contain traces of metrical structure or versification and a conscious blend of the two literature formats known as prose poetry.
Monsieur Jourdain asked for something to be written in neither verse nor prose. A philosophy master replied there is no other way to express oneself than with prose or verse, for the simple reason being that everything that is not prose is verse, and everything that is not verse is prose.
I believe a story can be wrecked by a faulty rhythm in a sentence— especially if it occurs toward the end—or a mistake in paragraphing, even punctuation. Henry James is the maestro of the semicolon. Hemingway is a first-rate paragrapher. From the point of view of ear, Virginia Woolf never wrote a bad sentence.
I don’t mean to imply that I successfully practice what I preach. Many types of prose exist, which include nonfictional prose, heroic prose, prose poem, polyphonic prose, alliterative prose, prose fiction, and village prose in Russian literature.
A prose poem is a composition in prose that has some of the qualities of a poem. Many forms of creative or literary writing use prose, including novels and short stories.
Writer Truman Capote thought that the short story was “the most difficult and disciplining form of prose writing extant”. The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended.