Poetry (from the Greek ποίησις, poiesis, with the meaning of “creation”) is a form of literary art that creates, with the choice and combination of words according to particular metric laws (which cannot be ignored by the author), a composition made of phrases called verses, in which the semantic meaning is linked to the musical sound of phonemes. Poetry, therefore, has in itself some qualities of music and manages to convey concepts and moods in a more evocative and powerful way than prose does, in which words are not subject to metrics.

Poetry has traditionally been distinguished from prose by its being set in verse; the prose is cast in sentences, poetry in lines; the syntax of prose is dictated by meaning, whereas that of poetry is held across meter or the visual aspects of the poem. This distinction is complicated by various hybrid forms such as the prose poem and prosimetrum, and more generally by the fact that prose possesses rhythm.