Is Poetry Fiction Or Nonfiction

What is Fiction and Nonfiction

In general terms, fiction is an imaginative creation of art that contains stories which may or may not be based on real events while nonfiction is any form of story that is based on fact. Fiction can be novels, short stories and plays, while nonfiction includes articles, biographies, memoirs and essays. When it comes to literature, fiction is any form of writing that is not factual, meaning that it is the authors’ interpretation or perspective of the information. Nonfiction literature is written with factual information and is verified by the author’s research.

For a long time, classical authors and experts have debated whether poetry should be considered fiction or nonfiction. There are many factors that can help to determine whether a piece of poetry is fiction or nonfiction. Identifying the facts from the interpretations is key to categorizing a poem. Whether it is a matter of fact or opinion depends on the words used, the format and style of the poem as well as its tone.

Most often, poems are categorized as lyric poetry, narrative poetry and dramatic poetry. Lyric poetry mainly conveys the emotions and feelings of the author. While fact may be present in the poem the main focus is on the personal feelings and the subjectivity of the poet. Narrative poetry on the other hand, is based on the telling of stories, usually featuring characters and events based on real life. The author uses his words to effectively share a story which is usually entertaining and mesmerizing. Dramatic poetry, as the name implies is written in a dramatic form and contains scenes, characters and plot lines as in a play.

Fiction Poetry

Fiction poetry is that type of poetry which uses imagination and creativity to tell stories and express abstract thoughts and emotions. The writers often use allegories, metaphors, personification and other literary devices to convey their thoughts and feelings. Fiction poetry may be based on real events but is written in an imaginative, abstract way. It delves deep into the reader’s psyche and mood and portrays the writer’s innermost feelings effectively. This type of poetry is often dramatic and evocative.

Fiction poetry is mainly lyrical and emotionally captivating. It often contains elements of fantasy and illusion and is often fantastical and dreamlike. The authors use the words to create an imaginary world and journey for the reader. It may also contain elements of satire and sarcasm. Fiction poetry does not attempt to present any facts and is mainly focused on the subjective feeling of the writer. This type of poetry may be used to depict the author’s own worldview and beliefs as well as to express particular emotions.

Nonfiction Poetry

On the other hand, nonfiction poetry is mainly focused on facts and realism, usually delving into the history and culture of a nation or society. The authors may use various forms of language to express the facts and data related to their subject matter, without employing any imaginative elements. This type of poetry is mainly based on facts and is mainly used to document particular events and their causes and effects. Nonfiction poetry is also used as a tool for advocacy and for public education.

Nonfiction poetry does not necessarily evoke strong emotions from the readers as in fiction poetry. Instead, the writers aim to document the facts accurately and in an engaging manner. Nonfiction poetry may also be composed in a specific format and style such as free verse or rhymed verse.Unlike fiction poetry, nonfiction poetry is based on facts rather than feelings and sensations of the author.


An example of fiction poetry would be “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. This poem is written in a lyrical, yet melancholic style, conveying the emotions of the author as he reflects upon his life decisions which haven’t quite gone according to plan. The poem uses vivid imagery and strong emotions to evoke the innermost feelings of the reader.

An example of nonfiction poetry would be “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This poem documents the famous midnight ride of the American Revolutionary War hero Paul Revere. The poem tells the story in detail, using the different elements of language to effectively show the events of the ride. This type of poem is mainly used for public education and to document facts.

Role of Poetry

No matter which side of the coin you are on, it’s important to understand the role of poetry in our lives. Poetry is a form of literature that helps us to express our thoughts, feelings and emotions. It also allows us to explore different perspectives and gain insights on various aspects of life. At the same time, poetry can also serve as a powerful tool to document the history and experience of a nation or culture.

Poetry should be celebrated, no matter its categorization. Its main focus should be to spread positivity and bring hope to mankind. Its power lies in the ability to evoke powerful emotions and thoughts in its readers. We must look beyond categorization and focus on the power of poetry to create meaningful change.


Most of us have heard of the terms fiction and nonfiction. As a general rule, one is based on fact while the other is based on an author’s imagination. However, this is not always the case when it comes to poetry. It is important to be able to recognise the difference between the two types of poetry.

So, the question remains, is poetry fiction or nonfiction? The answer is it depends on the poem. Fiction poetry is imaginative and focuses on expressing the author’s innermost feelings. On the other hand, nonfiction poetry is based on facts and documents events and subjects.

No matter what kind of poetry it is, it is important to remember the role that poetry plays in our lives. It is a powerful form of literature that can evoke strong emotions and help us explore different perspectives. Therefore, it should be celebrated and embraced.

Different Types of Poetry

When categorizing poetry as fiction or nonfiction, it is important to be aware of the different types of poetry. Lyric poetry is mainly concerned with conveying the feelings and emotions of the writer, often using allegories, metaphors and other literary devices to do so. Narrative poetry, on the other hand, uses the telling of stories to entertain the readers.

Dramatic poetry, is written in the format of a play, featuring scenes, characters and plot lines. It is important to differentiate between the three, as each type of poetry can be either fiction or nonfiction. Depending on the words used, the style and format of the poem as well as its tone, one can determine whether it is fact or fiction.

Public Opinion on Poetry

It is interesting to note that, there is a clear divide when it comes to the opinion of poets and writers regarding the categorization of poetry. Some believe that poetry should be considered as nonfiction literature containing facts and historical data. Others, however, consider poetry as fiction, particularly when it comes to the lyrical and emotionally captivating types of poetry.

The feelings of readers and poets towards poetry vary, with some finding solace and understanding in fiction poetry while others enjoy the investment in exploring the events and cultures of past nations through nonfiction poetry. It is important to recognise which opinion you side with as this can give you a better understanding of this complex topic.


In conclusion, it is clear that there is no clear answer to the question of whether poetry is fiction or nonfiction. Different types of poetry may be categorized as either fictional or nonfictional depending on the words used, the format, style and tone of the poetry. What is important to remember is the role that poetry plays in our lives, which is to spread positivity and evoke powerful feelings and emotions from its readers.

Minnie Walters is a passionate writer and lover of poetry. She has a deep knowledge and appreciation for the work of famous poets such as William Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and many more. She hopes you will also fall in love with poetry!

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