Learn English – What’s the word for something that’s too direct and plain rather than poetic


When someone writes poetry that's almost like plain English sentences, what may we call that?

Consider this, for example. This is an example of that plain, stated as it is, poetry (completely made up):

I did this.
Then I did that
Life is great
Then I wore my pants
But life is also a struggle

and so on…

It gets tiresome after a while.

As against that, consider the more romantic prose. This is, as it should be, poetic.

If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
It may be, in yon smoke conceal'd,
Your comrades chase e'en now the fliers,
And, but for you, possess the field.

For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

From: http://sathyaish.net/poetry/SayNotTheStruggleNaughtAvaileth.aspx

Best Answer

As noted in comments, prosaic may work. Its senses include
• Pertaining to or having the characteristics of prose
• (of writing or speaking) Straightforward; matter-of-fact; lacking the feeling or elegance of poetry
• (usually of writing or speaking but also figurative) Overly plain or simple, to the point of being boring; humdrum

In the comments, and perhaps in the question, the third sense has been emphasized. But the first sense applies more properly and more widely. Even if poetry is written in “almost like plain English sentences”, it need not be at all unimaginative, banal, blah, boring, colorless, common, commonplace, dead, drab, dry, dull, everyday, flat, garden-variety, hackneyed, ho-hum, humdrum, lackluster, lifeless, literal, lowly, lusterless, mundane, ordinary, pablum, pabulum, pedestrian, plebeian, routine, square, stale, tame, tedious, trite, unexceptional, uninspiring, vanilla, or vapid. For example, free verse is a recognized poetic form; although at first glance much of it may look much like ordinary prose, some of it is readable poetry.