Narrative poetry is poetry that tells a story and has a plot. The poem does not have to rhyme, nor does it have to have a set length.
Narrative poetry owes its origins to oral tradition, which is the act of passing down one's history by word of mouth. Oral tradition has been important to human culture for thousands of years. Some historians believe that the distinguishing features of poetry, such as its use of metre, rhyme and alliteration, were originally developed to serve as mnemonics. These features allowed the speaker to more easily remember the traditional tales and correctly reconstruct them from memory.