Here’s a table of various poetry and prose literature genres and subgenres with explanatory notes to help understand their unique characteristics:

GenreSubgenreExplanatory Notes
PoetryLyric PoetryExpresses personal emotions or thoughts of the speaker, often in first person. Key forms include sonnets, odes, and elegies. Examples include works by Emily Dickinson and William Wordsworth.
Narrative PoetryTells a story with a plot, characters, and a narrative arc. Examples include epics and ballads. Notable works include Homer’s The Iliad and The Odyssey.
HaikuA traditional form of Japanese poetry with a 5-7-5 syllable structure, focusing on nature and seasonal changes. Key figures include Matsuo Bashō.
Free VerseLacks consistent meter or rhyme schemes, giving the poet freedom to create varied rhythmic patterns. Prominent poets include Walt Whitman and T.S. Eliot.
PastoralFocuses on rural life and nature, often idealizing the simplicity of the countryside. Examples include works by Virgil and Edmund Spenser.
ProseNovelA long, fictional narrative with a complex plot and detailed character development. Subgenres include romance, science fiction, and historical fiction. Examples include Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and 1984 by George Orwell.
NovellaShorter than a novel but longer than a short story, often focusing on a single incident or character. Examples include Animal Farm by George Orwell and The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka.
Short StoryA brief fictional prose narrative, often focusing on a single event or character. Notable authors include Edgar Allan Poe, Alice Munro, and Raymond Carver.
Flash FictionExtremely short stories, typically under 1,000 words, that focus on brevity and impact. Examples include works by Lydia Davis and Hemingway’s “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
EssayA short piece of writing on a particular subject, often expressing the author’s personal viewpoint. Subgenres include argumentative, descriptive, and narrative essays. Key figures include Michel de Montaigne and George Orwell.
DramaTragedyA serious drama in which the protagonist is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, often due to a tragic flaw. Examples include Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles.
ComedyA lighter, humorous drama with a happy ending, often involving misunderstandings and reconciliations. Examples include Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.
Historical DramaPlays set in a historical period, often focusing on significant events or figures. Examples include A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt and Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Absurdist DramaFocuses on the absurdity of human existence, often with illogical or nonsensical elements. Key playwrights include Samuel Beckett with Waiting for Godot and Eugène Ionesco.
Non-FictionBiographyThe life story of a person written by someone else, often based on extensive research. Notable examples include Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson and Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow.
AutobiographyA self-written account of the author’s life. Examples include The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela.
MemoirA personal account focusing on specific experiences or periods in the author’s life. Notable examples include Educated by Tara Westover and Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.
Travel WritingAccounts of the author’s experiences traveling to different places, often with descriptive and reflective elements. Key figures include Paul Theroux and Bill Bryson.
Self-HelpBooks aimed at personal improvement, offering advice and strategies for various aspects of life. Notable examples include How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie and The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.
Speculative FictionScience FictionExplores futuristic concepts, advanced technology, and often speculative societal changes. Key authors include Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Philip K. Dick.
FantasyFeatures magical elements, mythical creatures, and imaginary worlds. Notable examples include J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.
HorrorIntends to evoke fear, dread, or horror in the reader. Examples include works by Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft.
DystopianDepicts a society characterized by oppression, control, and often a totalitarian regime. Notable examples include Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

This table provides a broad overview of some of the most prominent genres and subgenres in poetry and prose literature, highlighting their unique characteristics and notable examples.