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What is a narrative poem?

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Quick Answer

A narrative poem is a poem that tells a story. This type of poem is usually written in metered verse and makes use of the narrator and the characters voices. Types of narrative poems include epics, ballads and lays.

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Long narrative poems often take the form of a novel that is set in verse. A romance is a long narrative poem that tells a story of chivalry, and they also may include tales from classic mythology. Shorter narrative poems are very similar in terms to that of a short story and are often placed together in interrelated groups or collections, such as the "Canterbury Tales."

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  • Q:

    What are examples of narrative poems?

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    Narrative poems tell a story about characters progressing through a plot in verse form. Narrative poems were often told or performed verbally for an audience. For example, the "Epic of Gilgamesh" and the "Iliad" are about great deeds of heroes, whereas the American folk song "Jesse James" is a ballad. Alexander Pope's "The Rape of the Lock" represents a mock-epic narrative poem.

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  • Q:

    What is a long narrative poem called?

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    A long narrative poem is called an epic. These types of poems were used to write such well known pieces as the Iliad and Beowulf. They are normally written in hexameter style.

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  • Q:

    What is the poem "Ulysses" by Tennyson about?

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    Alfred Lord Tennyson's "Ulysses" retells the story of Ulysses and his final sea voyage from Homer's "The Odyssey" and from Dante's "Inferno," in which the ill-fated Ulysses ends up in the Underworld. The poem also serves as a eulogy for Tennyson's friend Arthur Henry Hallam, whose death inspired the dramatic monologue.

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  • Q:

    What is an usher board poem?

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    An usher board poem tells the story of the role of the usher in the church. Some usher board poems are long and detailed, while others simply explain the duties of the usher. They typically celebrate the duties of the usher in black churches.

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