What Is a Narrative Poem?

A narrative poem is a longer form of poetry that tells an entire story, with a beginning, middle, and end. Narrative poems contain all of the elements of a fully developed story, including characters, plot, conflict, and resolution. These poems are typically told by just one narrator or speaker.

Narrative poem definition: a form of literature that combines the elements of poetry with the elements of storytelling. The narrative poem is one of the oldest form of poetry, and one of the oldest forms of literature. The earliest poetry exists in the form of hymns (such as the work of Sumerian priestess Enheduanna, the world’s first author), and other types of song such as chants.

Narrative poems are distinguished from narrative prose, such as a short story or a novel, because they are written in verse and retain poetic devices and characteristics like meter and rhyme. Though some narrative poems may be written in blank verse (that is, in iambic pentameter but with no rhyme), most narrative poetry does retain a formal rhyme scheme such as ABCB, with the second and fourth lines rhyming.

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shallow focus of clear hourglass. Narrative Poem
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Narrative Poetry Example

Poem by Alice Eaglefeather


Time is a teacher at my school.

He’s also the Dean, so he makes the rules.

Some call him Speed, others know him as Direction, but he introduces himself as Change.

He’s not shy but he is mysterious, and perhaps a bit strange.

Time was never loud but he is always moving. It’s a bit confusing

There are three things you need to know about him, and two of them you can’t control.

His parents usually come unannounced and always end up taking over.

Full disclose – he is the son of Movement and Linear, also known as Life and Death

They determine the minute of our last breath.

His parents own the school, and he runs it.

He doesn’t complain he tries to be cool, but it’s not like he loves it.

Professor Time oversees the calendar, he keeps everything from happening at once.

He has three kids: Month, Day, and Hour.

How you deal with the latter is how you spend your power.

He tells you whether it’s spring or autumn,

When to plant your seeds and how to show decorum.

He is an acclaimed physician, but he’s also a mortician

And he can be moody; some people never find him.

Others live far behind him.

They say he is the best teacher, but we all know he can be ruthless.

After all, some of us end up toothless.

Einstein said he was an illusion,

And although it was never proven

Time was cursed with eternity

There’s only one person that can make his weathered wrinkled face gleam with life-

And that’s Professor Now, his wife.

Who says Time can’t get lost in the moment?

Now’s always present. She is the moment.

She’s a force, she’s his atonement

He’d do anything to make her laugh, even if it makes him look daft

They’ve been together forever now

But he still tries to say something clever when she’s around.

And to this day the poor lad just blurbs out these incoherent sounds-

That don’t really make any sense. But in his defense,

Professor Now deserves a bow.

Though, they are same age, Now has a fresh attitude to life, so everyone thinks she is younger.

See, she’s got this healthy hunger, for life.

While he’s a planner, she’s the definition of spontaneity.

But it was his ingenuity- that made her fall for him.

The thing you’ve got to remember about Now is that she is a runner.

As well as a stunner.

She ran track in her heyday, and no one, not a single soul is able to catch her from behind.

She is kind, she has style. And she’s got the sweetest smile

She’s so approachable when you’re brave enough to look at her the eyes

She gives great advise, and she’s always ready to improvise.

She’s more of a ‘do it sooner’ rather than later. It’s like she’s always on a deadline.

Today, she has her hair above the neckline.

She told us in her lecture – ‘The past may hobble you, and the future can be terrifying,

The present is the safest place to be.’ She said clarifying

This school is sort of different, it’s more like a journey

And it’s best to start early.

Because Time can be bias, and a wee bit pious.

Now’s the only way to his heart

Because now is the best time to start

She’s the only member of this faculty who is truly going to let you take over the helm.

Just remember not to let yourself get overwhelmed.

If you are good friends with Now, and you learn how to behave around his children,

Get a hold of your daily routine, and stay driven

Time will reward you. He’s well off so he can afford to

See, in the school of life, whether by luck or design,

The more you concentrate on Time, past or future, the more you miss the moment.

And the moment is a key component

Yesterday we walked past a river on the way to school

The young at heart jumped in the water while the others called them fools

They said they couldn’t afford to take time off work

With a smirk, Time told them about the gold in river

Then they cried and begged him to reconsider

But you can’t go back in time!

Why? Because the future and the past exist only as Change

The present is the only thing you can rearrange

Today, on the way to class there were bricks

And even though they weren’t given any tips

The young at heart built bridges, while the others only built walls

Sad souls, acting like escaped thralls

Because the past embodies all that is ugly and painful,

People stare at him so profusely that they miss the present entirely

Such bittersweet irony

To miss the present because you’re lost looking at Time

Even though, Now’s always by his side

Some people are blinded by pride, others simply fail to enjoy the ride

Either way, living in the moment seldom happens to us

It’s rare to find something that really moves us

Thus, keep this in your pocket – think of it as a guide

It’s the best we can provide

Here’s how you can succeed

Tomorrow, be ready to lead and to follow

Because if there’s one thing you must learn- is that

The tide can always turn

The journey has highs and lows, that’s just how Time flows

If you ever feel like crying, if you’re ever tired of trying

Remember you’re on a quest, but you can take time to rest

The river of change has many turns

So, leave your concerns and learn to discern

The rise and fall of the tide, be ready to dive

But don’t forget how to climb

If you’re fortunate, you’ll have friends to share the ride

Friends who will stand the test of Time

And when you see the happy couple by the school’s gate

Be ready to meet your fate- please don’t be late.

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