Difference Between Poem and Verse

Poem vs Verse

The key difference between poem and verse is that poetry is the process in which verses are the lines of the end product, which is called a Poem.

Literature is something that keeps on evolving, from one culture to another, one society to another, one group of people to another set of people and through centuries of change from one ancient episode to a beginning of another modern chapter. Poem vs. Verse is just as similar as that. The difference between poem and verse also can be defined as a result of an evolving process. In order to figure out the difference between these two, we will first have to figure out the relationship between a poem and poetry.

Poem vs Poetry

When tracing back to the origin, we see that poetry has been used even before people became literate. The Gathas that we find in many countries and also the Odyssey are great examples for this.

During the ancient times a collection of words that were sung in a rhythm, in a daily basis was known as poetry. They used this so called poetry for religious purposes, to scare away animals that harmed their crops, to keep their history in track without decaying in terms of memory and also sometimes they used such rhythmic words to keep away their boredom. With time these kind of collections of rhythmic words, poetry became advanced with the evolving of the human brain in terms of accomplishing contact with a high literacy rate with the help of various revolutions that occurred all over the world. Likewise, as a result of researchers and studies on these pieces of art, people became aware of things called characteristics of literacy. Among these identified features, some of the most commonly used ones today are named as rhythm, alliteration, onomatopoeia, usage of symbolism, metaphor, simile, metonymy, irony and ambiguity. Therefore, poetry is the process of creating a poem or else is a set of words that convey ones feeling in an imaginative way, using various attributes in literature. In simple the creating process of a literacy piece of art is known as poetry whereas the end result of it is called as a poem.

Definition of Poem

Hence, a poem is the arrangement of words that contain meaning and musical elements. In simple a poem is a form of writing conveying one or many feelings of a person under different characteristics of literature. This can be either rhyming or non-rhyming. A poem can have various types. For an example, sonnets, elegy, ballad, free verse, limerick and haiku are some of them.

Difference Between Poem and Verse

Then, is verse a type of a poem? No it is not.

Definition of Verse

A verse can be seen within poetry or inside a poem and also even within the types of poems. Therefore, basically, a verse is an element of poetry or a poem. On the other hand, over the years, it is also called as synonym for the term poetry. When moving further, we can describe a verse as a line or two of a poem or poetry which is written in a musical rhythm or simply with a rhyme. However, some poems, as a whole, may not very well have a rhyming scheme. Yet, within that same poem, we might be able to find a line or two containing a metrical rhythm. Such a line or lines in a poem is known as a verse. As a result, at present we are capable of naming a song lyric or similarly a stanza in poetry as a verse as well.

Likewise, just as in a poem, a verse can also be divided in to different categories in terms of its rhythm. Among them unrhymed lines are known as Blank Verse, rhymed lines are called as Rhymed Verse and lines of undetermined length is known to be called as a Free Verse, which also falls as a category under poetry. Therefore, basically, verse is the lines in a poem. It is used as an element to the whole of poetry or, in other words, it is used as a metonym.

For an example;

If we say, She wrote a letter to her mother in verse or, if she says, She wrote a letter to her mother in which all lines are rhymed, in overall, it gives out the idea or meaning that She wrote a letter to her mother which was a poem.

Key Difference Between Poem and Verse

What is the difference between Poem and Verse?

In simple terms, a poem is a collection of rhymed or unrhymed lines, which are called as verse. Yet, many tend to think that verse is a light, degraded type of poetry that is being rarely used, but the truth is that it is the content of a poem or it is a part of the poem that contributes to its whole outcome at the end of production. Therefore, it is really important not to mess up with the words poem, poetry and verse.

In conclusion, poetry is the process in which verses are the lines of the end product, which is called a Poem.

Verse: Lines of a poem

Poetry: Process of making a poem with elements of literature

Poem: End product of poetry, which is done to convey a feeling or expression

In order for us to produce a good poem, poetry and verse is therefore essential.

 Image Courtesy:

1. “The poem ‘Time’s Paces’ by Henry Twells (1823 – 1900)”, By Ajsinclair – Own work, [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikicommons


2. “Jingle Bells verse”, By Hyacinth – Own work, Public Domain, via Wikicommons