I'm looking for a word or poetry genre to describe a short free-form lyrical and poetic sentence, verse, or paragraph.

Something like "free form Haiku", but without any rules like number of syllables, sentences, rhymes etc.. Also without it being constrained to certain content, like cynical, funny or dramatic.

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    Could 'aphorism' work? Sep 9, 2021 at 11:23
  • Thank :), I don't think it fits because if for example the sense or paragraph are really abstract and "poetic" it does not define it.. Sep 9, 2021 at 11:28
  • I also thought about Epigram but I find it not fitting either.. Sep 9, 2021 at 11:31
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    Prose can be poetic, and poetry prosaic, Evra. Perhaps to help people understand where you're coming from you could give examples of the kind of passages you consider 'abstract' vs 'poetic' - good to have you on board. Sep 9, 2021 at 11:31
  • @LeonConrad Hi, Thanks :) and nicely said "Prose can be poetic, and poetry prosaic". I've been thinking about this for a week and perhaps the best word is simply "Poetry" :), but I am still very interested to learn more ways to be able to describe it. For example this sentence by Rumi “This is a subtle truth. Whatever you love, you are.” I know this would qualify as a "quote", but lets say I wrote a list of these and want to share them in a book or website, it doesn't really make sense to call them "Quotes by me" 😂 Sep 9, 2021 at 13:20

3 Answers 3


Surely the answer is contained within the question. You (OP) aspire to write

short, free-form verse

That seems to be an entirely understandable term which clearly expresses your intentions and avoids the constraints you wish to avoid if you used an existing designation such as Haiku or sonnet or what-have-you.

  • Thank you. this seem to be the practical and understandable description :) Nov 17, 2021 at 15:27

It would help if you could give more examples and context.

"Aphorism" (or perhaps "witticism" or "epigram") works if they're all very short, like the Rumi example you gave.

If it's usually longer than a line or three, then prose poetry (for a set) / a prose poem (for just one) would be the most fitting term.

(I assume from "lyrical and poetic sentence / verse / paragraph" that you are thinking of a paragraph with no line-breaks. A prose poem can consist of a single paragraph.)

(Note also that a SE exists for literature, where questions about genre are more common.)


I can't think of a specific way to answer your question but I collect phrases that inspire me to think of things in a fresh new way. Some are prosaic and some are poetic. The first category in my collection is OPPOSITES ATTRACT and here are some examples. Perhaps they will get you inspired to collect examples of what you're seeking.

The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Myths are public dreams. Dreams are private myths If life is a waste of time, and time is a waste of life, let's get wasted and have the time of our lives. Intellectuals say simple things in a complicated ways. Artists say complicated things in simple ways. I'm not as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was. I'll believe it when I see it. You'll see it when you believe it. It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy. Happiness isn't having the best of everything but making the best of everything you have. If you fail to plan you plan to fail. I said, "Better late then never." She said, "Better never than late!" When the student is ready, a teacher will come. When the teacher is ready a student will come. If you are too big for little things, you will be too little for big things. When you don't feel like going to work, go to work and perhaps you'll feel like it.


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