This poet points out that based on the definitions of poetry and free verse Walt Whitman only wrote prose
Based on the definition of free verse it follows free verse is not poetry
"In poetry, metre (meter in American English) is the basic rhythmic structure of a verse or lines in verse "
"The word "verse" is commonly used in lieu of "poetry" to distinguish it from prose. Where the common unit of poetry, that is, verse, is based on meter or rhyme
A verse is formally a single metrical line in a poetic composition"
[free verse definition]
Free verse is usually defined as having no fixed meter and no end rhyme"
poetry is distinguish from prose by being in metre
here we see free verse has no metre
poetry has metre
there is no way to distinguish free verse from prose
thus seeing Walt Whitman wrote in free verse
his work is only prose
he is not a poet
Verse is not poetry. Verse is a component of metrical poems. Verse requires metre, poetry does not. Free verse is non-metrical poetry. To insist that metre is a necessary component of poetry is asinine. To say that we cannot distinguish between free verse and prose is equally so.
Additionally, what an insulting phrasing for this question: "...But only a writer of prose?" As if prose is somehow a lesser form. Bah.