Poetry Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

Why is often poetic language more effective than regular prose when it comes to conveying a message?  Please use examples from poems or song lyrics.

Expert Answers info

stolperia eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write2,948 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Poetic language often makes use of literary devices that help in creating a response in the reader beyond the mere reading of the words on the page, as is the case with most prose. Because of the special impacts that can result from careful selection of vocabulary for a poem, poetry frequently is more effective than prose in conveying messages or emotions.

Alliteration is one example of a literary device often used to increase the impact of poetic language. The repeated initial "d" sounds used by Poe in "The Raven" add to the eerie feeling he is developing.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.

A simile is another literary device, making a comparison between two unlike items with the use of words such as "like,"  "as if," or "such." How much more effective for Robert Burns to say "My love is like a red, red rose" than for him to write "I love her a lot."

Other literary devices can be used for different reasons, but the impact is the same. The fact that poetry is often read aloud and therefore is heard as well as seen in print also can enhance the effect of conveying of a message to an audience.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial