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When it comes to creative expression within the English language, most artforms fall into one of two categories: prose or poetry. Prose includes pieces of writing like novels, short stories, novellas, and scripts. These kinds of writing contain the kind of ordinary language heard in everyday speech. Poetry includes song lyrics, various poetry forms, and theatrical dialogue containing poetic qualities, like iambic pentameter.

However, prose and poetry are not completely stratified such that one can never contain the elements of the other. The prose poem is a creative writing format that combines elements of the poetic form and the prose form.