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Author vs. Poet: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on October 7, 2023
An "Author" is someone who writes books or literary pieces, while a "Poet" specifically writes poetry.

Key Differences

The terms "Author" and "Poet" both refer to individuals who engage in the act of writing. However, while an Author pens books, articles, stories, or other literary works, a Poet specializes in writing poetry, using rhythmic and metaphorical language to convey emotions and ideas.
Authors can cover a vast range of genres and subjects, from fiction to non-fiction, fantasy to biography. Their primary objective is to tell a story or share knowledge. On the other hand, Poets often delve deep into personal emotions, societal issues, or philosophical questions, capturing these thoughts in a concise and lyrical manner.
An Author's work might span hundreds of pages, elaborating on plot, characters, and settings. Contrastingly, a Poet can encapsulate an entire narrative or emotion in just a few lines, making every word and punctuation mark carry significant weight.
Authors may employ prose, a natural flow of speech without structured meter, in their writings. Poets, however, often use structured patterns, rhymes, meters, and figurative language, crafting pieces that resonate both in meaning and sound.
In essence, while all Poets can be considered Authors as they have authored poems, not all Authors are Poets. The distinction lies in the specific form and style of writing they engage in.

Comparison Chart

Primary Writing Form

Prose (books, articles, stories)


Fiction, Non-fiction, various genres
Emotions, personal experiences, societal reflections


May not have rhythmic or metric structure
Often has rhythm, meter, rhyme

Length of Work

Can range from short stories to lengthy novels
Can be short like haikus or longer like epics


To inform, entertain, educate, narrate
To evoke emotion, reflect, philosophize

Author and Poet Definitions


Someone responsible for content
The Author of the blog post received many comments.


A writer of poems
The Poet recited his latest piece at the event.


The primary contributor to a piece of writing
The Author shared her insights during the interview.


A creator of poetic literature
The Poet's works resonated with many readers.


The originator of any written piece
The research paper's Author was a renowned scientist.


An artist who captures life's essence in lyrical form
The Poet painted scenes with words.


A writer of a book, article, or report
The book's Author held a signing event.


An individual skilled in the art of poetic composition
The Poet had a unique style that stood out.


The writer of a book, article, or other text.


One who expresses emotions or ideas in rhythmic language
The famous Poet was known for her heart-wrenching verses.


One who practices writing as a profession.


A writer of poems.


One who writes or constructs an electronic document or system, such as a website.


One who is especially gifted in the perception and expression of the beautiful or lyrical
"[He] was the bard of the bird feeder, the poet of the small and homey" (Bill McKibben).


An originator or creator, as of a theory or plan.


A person who writes poems.


Author God.


A person with a creative or romantic imagination.


To write or be the author of (a published text).


One skilled in making poetry; one who has a particular genius for metrical composition; the author of a poem; an imaginative thinker or writer.
The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven.
A poet is a maker, as the word signifies.


To write or construct (an electronic document or system)
Authored the company's website.


A writer of poems (the term is usually reserved for writers of good poetry)


The originator or creator of a work, especially of a literary composition.
The copyright of any original writing belongs initially and properly to its author.
Have you read any Corinthian authors?


Someone who writes books for a living.




(obsolete) One's authority for something: an informant.


To create a work as its author.


The beginner, former, or first mover of anything; hence, the efficient cause of a thing; a creator; an originator.
Eternal King; thee, Author of all being.


One who composes or writes a book; a composer, as distinguished from an editor, translator, or compiler.
The chief glory of every people arises from its authors.


The editor of a periodical.


An informant.


To occasion; to originate.
Such an overthrow . . . I have authored.


To tell; to say; to declare.
More of him I dare not author.


Writes (books or stories or articles or the like) professionally (for pay)


Someone who originates or causes or initiates something;
He was the generator of several complaints


Be the author of;
She authored this play


A creator of written work
The Author of that novel won several awards.


Can an Author write poetry?

Yes, an Author can write poetry, in which case they're also a Poet.

Are all Poets considered Authors?

Yes, since Poets create literary work, they are Authors of their poems.

Can a book have multiple Authors but one Poet?

Yes, a book can be co-authored by many, but individual poems within would be attributed to their respective Poet.

How does a Poet's use of language differ from an Author's?

A Poet often uses rhythmic and figurative language, while an Author may use more straightforward prose.

Can an Author be famous for just one work?

Yes, some Authors are known for one significant piece, just as a Poet might be known for a single poem.

How important is the setting for an Author?

For many Authors, setting is crucial for context, whereas for a Poet, it might be more about emotion.

How does an Author develop characters differently than a Poet?

Authors often delve deep into character development, while Poets might capture a character's essence quickly.

Do Authors always write long pieces?

No, Authors can write short stories or articles, while a Poet's work can range in length too.

Why might a Poet choose a particular structure?

Poets might use structures to convey emotions or create rhythm, while Authors use structures to enhance narratives.

Can Poets be novelists?

Yes, many Poets also work as Authors of novels and vice versa.

Is every Author's work published?

No, not every piece by an Author gets published, just as not every poem by a Poet does.

Does a Poet always use rhyme?

No, while many Poets use rhyme, some poems are free verse, unlike most Author prose.

How do Poets and Authors handle feedback?

Both Poets and Authors can use feedback to refine their work and grow as writers.

Do Authors and Poets always write from personal experience?

No, both Authors and Poets can write from imagination or others' experiences.

Can a Poet's work be fictional?

Absolutely, just as Authors can write fiction, Poets can craft fictional narratives.

Can an Author's work be adapted into a poem?

Yes, stories by Authors can inspire or be adapted into poetry by Poets.

Why might an Author write a memoir?

An Author might write a memoir to share personal experiences, while a Poet might convey similar experiences through poems.

Do Poets always write in the first person?

No, Poets, like Authors, can write in various perspectives.

How do Authors and Poets find inspiration?

Both Authors and Poets find inspiration from life, nature, experiences, reading, and imagination.

Can one piece be both prose and poetry?

Yes, some works blur the lines, with Authors using poetic language and Poets writing narrative poems.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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