About Poetry
Poetry • Outline • Explication

Theme • Plot • Style
Character • Setting • Voice
Writer • Writer's block

Poetic diction

Imagery • Figures of speech
Metaphor • Simile
Homeric simile
Personification • Pathetic fallacy
Synecdoche  • Metonymy
Conceit • Extended metaphor
Allegory • Motif • Symbol
Pun • Double entendre
Ambiguity • Idiom


Alliteration • Assonance
Consonance • Rhyme
Repetition • Refrain


Line • Enjambment • Caesura
Foot • Meter • Verse • Stanza

Verse forms

Epic • Narrative • Lyric • Ode
Dramatic monologue • Ballad
Blank verse • Heroic couplets
Sestina • Sonnet • Villanelle
List of poetic forms

Modern poetry

Free verse • Prose poetry
Haiku in English • Tanka

Much, much more ...

Collaborative poetry
Glossary of poetry terms
How to - topics


This box: view · talk · edit

About Literature

Literature • Outline • History
Writer • Author • Poet

Major types

Verse • Prose
Poem • Play • Novel
Short story • Novella


Epic • Lyric • Drama
Romance • Satire
Tragedy • Comedy


Theme • Plot • Style
Character • Setting • Voice


Performance • Plays
Books • Magazines

History and lists

Outline of literature
Index of terms
History • Modern history
List of years in literature
Books • Writers •
Literary movements
Poetry movements
Literary awards • Poetry awards


Reviews • Criticism • Theory
List of literary critics

Much, much more ...

Glossary of literary terms
Glossary of poetry terms
How to - topics

This box: view · talk · edit

Narrative poetry is poetry that tells a story or narrative.


The poems that make up this genre may be short or long, and the story it relates to may be simple or complex. It is usually nondramatic, with objective regular scheme and meter.[1] Narrative poems include epics, ballads, idylls and lays.

Some narrative poetry takes the form of a verse novel . An example of this is The Ring and the Book by Robert Browning. In terms of narrative poetry, a romance is a narrative poem that tells a story of chivalry. Examples include the Romance of the Rose or Tennyson's Idylls of the King. Although these examples use medieval and Arthurian materials, romances may also tell stories from classical mythology.

Shorter narrative poems are often similar in style to the short story. Sometimes these short narratives are collected into interrelated groups, as with Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Some literatures contain prose narratives that include poems and poetic interludes; much Old Irish poetry is contained within prose narratives, and the Old Norse sagas include both incidental poetry and the biographies of poets. An example is "The Cremation of Sam McGee" by Robert Service.

Oral traditionEdit

Main article: Oral tradition

Much of poetry has its source in an oral tradition: the Scots and English ballads, the tales of Robin Hood, of Iskandar, and various Baltic and Slavic heroic poems all were originally intended for recitation, rather than reading. In many cultures, there remains a lively tradition of the recitation of traditional tales in verse form. It has been suggested that some of the distinctive features that distinguish poetry from prose, such as metre, alliteration, and kennings, at one time served as memory aids that allowed the bards who recited traditional tales to reconstruct them from memory.[2]

A narrative poem usually tells a story using a poetic theme. Epic poems are very vital to narrative poems, although it is thought that narrative poems were created to explain oral traditions. The focus of narrative poetry is often the pros and cons of life.

Narrative poemsEdit


  1. Michael Meyer, The Bedford Introduction to Literature, Bedford/St. Martin's, 2005, p2134.
  2. David C. Rubin, Memory in Oral Traditions. The Cognitive Psychology of Epic, Ballads, and Counting-out Rhymes. (Taco University Press, 1991)

External links Edit

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. (view article). (view authors).
This page uses content from Wikinfo . The original article was at Wikinfo:Narrative poetry.
The list of authors can be seen in the (view authors). page history. The text of this Wikinfo article is available under the GNU Free Documentation License and the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license.