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Is Poetry fiction or non-fiction? 
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Post Is Poetry fiction or non-fiction?
I love poetry and have been writing it for many years. I am wondering now about the category that poetry fits into. Is it considered fiction or non-fiction? Does it depend on what it's about or is it automatically classified into fiction or non-fiction. Looking forward to your thoughts. Thanks.


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Post Re: Is Poetry fiction or non-fiction?
It can be both. Why not? It's just a writing style, isn't it? There are a couple members on here that are really into poetry that can answer the question much better.



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Post Re: Is Poetry fiction or non-fiction?
I generally write from personal experiences... so I would assume it's non-fiction... but would a poetry book be considered non-fiction?


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Post Re: Is Poetry fiction or non-fiction?
Well, to be honest... I think an epic written in poetic style, if historically accurate, would need to be non-fiction.

But a book of poetry would be classified as poetry... and not non-fiction or fiction...

All this is pure conjecture for conversation. I really have no clue.



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Post Re: Is Poetry fiction or non-fiction?
Poetry isn't either fiction or non-fiction. It doesn't really fit into any of those categories, although certain elements of a poem could be regarded as fictional or historical. For example, a poem could be based on a historical event.

Here's a definition: "literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style and rhythm."


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Post Re: Is Poetry fiction or non-fiction?
It depends on if you write

The ages came with fleeting snow,
magic's tides,
and mythril glow.

or

The Titanic sailed the ocean blue,
struck a fate that none had knew
and now we'll miss them all...

it can be either :P


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Post Re: Is Poetry fiction or non-fiction?
It's just a matter of convention. Prose writing, where the print goes from margin to margin and may continue mid-sentence onto the next page, is classified as fiction or nonfiction (and then further subdivided into genres). Poetry, which takes a special arrangement on the page, also is divided into genres, but I think none of them have to do with whether the content reports real events or not. The root of the matter might be that singing developed into poetry, while storytelling developed into prose.



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Post Re: Is Poetry fiction or non-fiction?
DWill wrote:
but I think none of them have to do with whether the content reports real events or not. The root of the matter might be that singing developed into poetry, while storytelling developed into prose.


That's a bit off. Content has to do heavily with classification in the sense of the poster's question. We're talking about whether or not it's fiction or non fiction....

In the case of poetry being classified as either fiction on non-fiction content will play a major role...

poetry about unicorns is not going to make it into the non-fiction section if their was such a thing :)


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Post Re: Is Poetry fiction or non-fiction?
JeremyBenson wrote:
DWill wrote:
but I think none of them have to do with whether the content reports real events or not. The root of the matter might be that singing developed into poetry, while storytelling developed into prose.


That's a bit off. Content has to do heavily with classification in the sense of the poster's question. We're talking about whether or not it's fiction or non fiction....

In the case of poetry being classified as either fiction on non-fiction content will play a major role...

poetry about unicorns is not going to make it into the non-fiction section if their was such a thing :)

Well, my point is that we just don't see writing labeled as poetry broken down into fiction and nonfiction. It's just not the classification used, and it really wouldn't make much sense. When we tell a story from imagination and we write it down as prose, we call it fiction. If we write the same story arranged in lines or stanzas, we call it poetry. If the story happens to have been "true," we'll call the prose nonfiction, and if for some reason that true story was written in lines or stanzas, we'd still call it poetry (or maybe "verse"). But the latter case is pretty unlikely, since using a poetic approach is going to mean we want to bring out something besides the facts of a case.

So based on that reasoning (?), I think if I had to choose I'd say poetry is fiction.



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Post Re: Is Poetry fiction or non-fiction?
DWill is right. Poetry is poetry. It's not classified as fiction or nonfiction.


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Post Re: Is Poetry fiction or non-fiction?
I think it's wrong to say the classification has never been used. I see on poetry sites often that poems are sorted in horror, fantasy, what ever...I'm sure poetry has been classified as either non-fiction and fiction as well...at least somewhere once....generally, maybe not :P


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Post Re: Is Poetry fiction or non-fiction?
apparently good reads uses the classification non-fiction for poetry :P
http://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/nonfiction-poetry


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Post Re: Is Poetry fiction or non-fiction?
Poems are classified thematically, sure. But categorizing poetry as fiction or nonfiction doesn't make much sense to me.


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Post Re: Is Poetry fiction or non-fiction?
Poetry isn't either fiction or non-fiction. It doesn't really fit into any of those categories, although certain elements of a poem could be regarded as fictional or historical. For example, a poem could be based on a historical event..



Wed Mar 18, 2020 12:11 pm
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Post Re: Is Poetry fiction or non-fiction?
First of all, does it really matter? :hmm: I guess if pressed, I would say both. I mean Robert Browning's "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came" is clearly fictional. Robert Frost's "Fire and Ice" is non-fiction. Others are hard to classify. My advice: Don't worry about it. :lol:


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