Examples Of Narrative Poems

Published: July 2017

Narrative Poems - Poems That Tell A Story

Narrative poems are stories in poem form. Narrative poems are one of the oldest forms of poetry and indeed all literature. 

Narrative poetry was used in ancient times as a means of passing down important stories. Many people did not how to read and write and captivating stories told rhythmically, with repetition and rhymes were a way to ensure that stories important to the culture were remembered and passed down through the generations.

This collection contains narrative poems by famous and modern poets. 

52 Narrative Poems - Poems That Tell A Story

  1. The Strongest Girl I Ever Knew

    • By Ronald Doe
    • Published by Family Friend Poems January 2009 with permission of the Author.

    My sister Kelly was paralyzed when she was 16. For the next 25 years she was totally dependent on others. Even though she got dealt a bad hand, she remained strong and dignified throughout her life. That is why she'll always be "The Strongest Girl I Ever Knew." Kelly, I know you're dancing in Heaven.
    In Loving Memory of Kelly Doe

    in Inspirational Poems

    She never got to dance
    Or go to her own prom.
    She never got the chance
    To forget where she came from.

    More...

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    The poem was very touching. I enjoyed reading it, and it reminds me of someone I know and is part of my life. She is none other than my sister. She was always on her feet doing things just...

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  2. Annabel Lee

    Famous Poem

    Annabel Lee was the last poem written by Poe. Like many of Poe's poems, this one is about lost love. It was published in 1849 shortly after his death. The subject mourns the death of his young love, Annabel Lee, and blames the angels for killing her out of jealousy for their love. He has since then slept by her grave, unable to accept her death.
    Edgar Allan Poe once said that the death of a beautiful woman is "the most poetical topic in the world". In this poem, the subject's lover, Annabel Lee was killed. The subject of the poem affirms that the love between him and Annabel Lee is so strong that even death can't separate them.

    in Famous Narrative Poems

    It was many and many a year ago,
    In a kingdom by the sea,
    That a maiden there lived whom you may know
    By the name of Annabel Lee;

    More...
    Annabel Lee By Edgar Allan Poe

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    I have always enjoyed reading the poem of Anabelle Lee. One day my grandson came home and told me he had to memorize and recite it for a 7th grade competition. I was delighted to help him. In...

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  4. 'Twas The Night Before Christmas

    Famous Poem

    Clement Clarke Moore wrote this poem in 1822 for his own children. It is also referenced with the title, "A Visit from St. Nicholas". The poem is the origin for many of the modern notions of Santa Claus, his plump and cheerful white-bearded look, the names of his reindeer, and even the tradition that he brings toys to children.

    in Famous Holiday Poems

    'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
    Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
    The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
    In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

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    I remember hearing this poem as a little youngster. I would also read this to my daughter and nephews each year right before Christmas! It is a wonderful poem to share with your family!...

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  5. Richard Cory

    Famous Poem

    A narrative poem, "Richard Cory" was first published in 1897, as part of The Children of the Night. It is one of Robinson's most popular and published poems. The poem describes a person who is wealthy, well-educated, mannerly, and admired by the people in his town. Despite all this, he takes his own life.

    in Famous Sad Poems

    Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
    We people on the pavement looked at him:
    He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
    Clean favored, and imperially slim.

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    I read this poem as one of the mandatory literary pieces while in High School. Even at that tender age something about the absurdity of life struck me and it continued to haunt me. I tried to...

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  7. The Raven

    Famous Poem

    One of the most famous poems ever written, "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe is a delightfully spooky, dark poem. What makes this poem so remarkable? There is a certain romance in darkness and melancholy. There is something mysterious about that which is hidden and unknown. Dark poems seek to romanticize sadness and depression. There is much room for creativity in this genre.

    in Famous Narrative Poems

    Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
    Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
    As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

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  8. The Charge Of The Light Brigade

    Famous Poem

    "Which guns?" they asked. Captain Nolan replied with a sweeping wave of his hand. Moments later the Light Brigade began to move. Six hundred men strong, they rode down the narrow valley in what has become a lesson taught to this very day in military academies worldwide about the importance of clear communication. The objective had been to hinder the retreat of the naval guns to the south of the battlefield. Instead, the Brigade was directed to a Russian position, which was a clear death trap. But though the orders were clearly suicidal, the men obeyed regardless and paid a heavy price. Almost half the Brigade was wiped out, and though little was accomplished strategically, the charge went down as one of the most glorious battles in British military history. News arrived in England, and while reading an account of the battle in the Times, Tennyson jotted down what has become perhaps his most famous poem.

    in Famous Narrative Poems

    Half a league, half a league,
    Half a league onward,
    All in the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.

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  9. Out Out

    Famous Poem

    Out, Out by Robert Frost is a narrative poem published in a collection of poems titled Mountain Interval in 1916 when millions of young men were losing their lives on the battlefields of World War I. On an American farm a hungry young boy is cutting wood with a buzz saw. Frost uses personification with the saw and an artist's imagery to narrate as the boy loses his hand and then his life in terrible yet mundane detail.

    in Famous Narrative Poems

    The buzz-saw snarled and rattled in the yard
    And made dust and dropped stove-length sticks of wood,
    Sweet-scented stuff when the breeze drew across it.
    And from there those that lifted eyes could count

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  10. The Cremation Of Sam McGee

    Famous Poem

    Service was inspired to write this dark and spooky narrative poem by the stories he heard from the people of the Yukon. The poem was published in his book, Songs of a Sourdough in 1907. "The Cremation of Sam McGee" has turned out to be one of Service's most famous poems.

    in Famous Narrative Poems

    There are strange things done in the midnight sun
    By the men who moil for gold;
    The Arctic trails have their secret tales
    That would make your blood run cold;

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    Featured Shared Story

    I love this poem! I have been looking for something for my project, and this poem just spoke to me. It has plenty of events, emotions and feeling for me to be able to fashion a short story...

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  11. The Spell Of The Yukon

    Famous Poem

    In 1904 while working for a Canadian bank, Robert Service was transferred to Whitehorse, a small town in the Yukon, a northern Canadian Province bordering Alaska known for its extreme cold. During the Yukon Gold Rush of 1896-1899 the town had served as a campground for some of the more than 100,000 prospectors who flooded the Yukon searching for gold. Service took part in the town's social life including reciting poetry. Eventually he started composing his own poems, many of which were narrative poems about the great gold rush. "The Spell Of The Yukon" was published in Service's first book of poetry, "Songs of a Sourdough" in 1907.

    in Famous Narrative Poems

    I wanted the gold, and I sought it;
    I scrabbled and mucked like a slave.
    Was it famine or scurvy—I fought it;
    I hurled my youth into a grave.

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    Featured Shared Story

    I am officially in love with this poet. He can tell a great story but still make it a rhyming poem with perfect rhyme. I am hooked!!

    Touched by the poem? Share your story! (1)

  12. A Boy Named Sue

    Famous Poem

    "A Boy Named Sue" is a poem by Shel Silverstein that has been made popular by Johnny Cash. Cash was at the height of his popularity when he recorded the song live at California's San Quentin State Prison at a concert on February 24, 1969. The concert was filmed by Granada Television for later television broadcast. The audio of the concert was later released on Cash's At San Quentin album. Cash also performed the song (with comical variations on the original performance) in December 1969 at Madison Square Garden.

    in Famous Funny Poems

    Well, my daddy left home when I was three,
    and he didn't leave much to Ma and me,
    just this old guitar and a bottle of booze.
    Now I don't blame him because he run and hid,

    More...

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    Johnny Cash was the right person to sing these lyrics. He made an interesting song from an awesome poem. Very entertaining. Love it! Jac. Judy A. Campbell

    Touched by the poem? Share your story! (1)

  13. Paul Bunyan

    Famous Poem

    This version of the poem is from Shel Silverstein's book of poems for children, "Where the Sidewalk Ends" published in 1974.
    A slightly different version of "Paul" is sung by Bobby Bare in his 1973 album, "Lullabys, Legends and Lies".
    He begins with an introduction, "You know, American folklore is filled with legendary characters like... Billy The Kid, Johnny Appleseed, Pecos Bill... and probably the greatest one of all has got to be Paul Bunyan, 'cause he was the meanest and the biggest and dirtiest, tobacco chewin'est, and the funkiest and the best woodchopper of all of 'em".
    Paul Bunyan is a lumberjack of huge size and strength in American folk tales. Usually included in these Tall Tales is his companion, Babe the Blue Ox, a giant creature of extraordinary strength.

    in Famous Narrative Poems

    He rode through the woods on a big blue ox,
    He had fists as hard as choppin' blocks,
    Five hundred pounds and nine feet tall...that's Paul.

    More...

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    Featured Shared Story

    This poem is easily identifiable as a classic, and it contains facts and emotions we all share throughout life at some time or other. Great reading and a great share. Well worth real...

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  14. Paul Revere's Ride

    Famous Poem

    This poem recounts the night of April 18, 1775 when Paul Revere rode through Massachusetts warning of the British's arrival. While this is based on a historical event, there are some fictional aspects. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was inspired to write this poem after visiting Old North Church, where the lanterns were held that night in 1775. Longfellow's grandfather was actually Paul Revere's commander on the Penobscot Expedition in 1779.

    in Famous Narrative Poems

    Listen my children and you shall hear
    Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
    On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
    Hardly a man is now alive

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  15. Casey At The Bat

    Famous Poem

    Ernest Lawrence Thayer worked for a newspaper, and "Casey at the Bat" was written as part of his column in 1888. It did not gain a lot of attention at first. DeWolf Hooper, a comic actor, recited "Casey at the Bat" 15,000 times over the next 50 year, increasing its popularity. This is the most famous baseball poem that has been written.
    "Love has its sonnets galore. War has its epics in heroic verse. Tragedy its sombre story in measured lines. Baseball has Casey at the Bat." - Albert Spalding

    in Famous Narrative Poems

    The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day;
    The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play,
    And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
    A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

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  16. The Fish

    Famous Poem

    This famous narrative poem transforms an ordinary moment into a gripping story about the moment when the Hunter meets the Hunted. The fisherwoman's catch of a tremendous fish takes an unexpected diversion when she takes the opportunity to observe it at close range. The life story of The Fish as told by its battle scars and beautiful fishiness gives the encounter a personal side and result in things taking an unexpected turn.

    in Famous Nature Poems

    I caught a tremendous fish
    and held him beside the boat
    half out of water, with my hook
    fast in a corner of his mouth.

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  17. The Ballad Of Rum

    A story based on a real dog who still watches over our yard in his own way.

    in Rhyming Poems

    A dog wandered into our garden one day,
    A friendly old mutt, didn't look like a stray.
    We never discovered whence he had come,
    But we brushed him and fed him and the kids called him Rum.

    More...

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    Oh my, Peter...in all the years that I have been reading about dogs, the poems, tales and stories always made me smile. Tonight though, reading your poem for the first time, something...

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  18. The Three Little Pigs

    Famous Poem

    This poem was published in Revolting Rhymes, a collection of six Roald Dahl poems published in 1982. Each poem is a parody of a traditional folk tale. He provides a re-interpretation and surprise ending instead of the traditional happily-ever-after ending. In this poem with gory twists, Roald Dahl combines the characters in the Three Little Pigs story with Little Red Riding Hood.

    in Famous Funny Poems

    The animal I really dig,
    Above all others is the pig.
    Pigs are noble. Pigs are clever,
    Pigs are courteous. However,

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    This is an unanticipated and unexpected poem. Though the title sounds childish, it is a complete transformation of the story Three Little Pigs! Roald Dahl has a creative mind which I...

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  19. Cinderella

    Famous Poem

    This poem was published in Revolting Rhymes, a collection of six Roald Dahl poems published in 1982. Each poem is a parody of a traditional folk tale. He provides a re-interpretation and surprise ending instead of the traditional happily-ever-after ending. This poem shows a different side of the Cinderella story that everyone knows. It has some gory twists and turns.

    in Famous Funny Poems

    I guess you think you know this story.
    You don't. The real one's much more gory.
    The phoney one, the one you know,
    Was cooked up years and years ago,

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    Yes, Roald Dahl has a whole book of revolting rhymes like this one. You should read it. Hilarious.

    Touched by the poem? Share your story! (4)

  20. Family Circle

    • By Melissa G. Nicks
    • Published by Family Friend Poems April 2006 with permission of the Author.

    This poem is about the circle of life and the bittersweet realization of how time and life pass by so quickly.

    in Father Poems

    When I am born, you are here
    In your eye, I see a tear
    Time flies and already I'm two
    "Look, Daddy, I can tie my shoe!"

    More...

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    Featured Shared Story

    Wow! Words cannot describe the quality of this poem. It is touching and another thing is that it co-relates with life's reality. Thanks a lot and thumbs up for the great job!

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  21. Blue

    • By Brian A. Haycock
    • Published by Family Friend Poems April 2006 with permission of the Author.

    A father writes of a special relationship with his daughter who was born blind and at age sixteen was given the gift of sight. A father daughter bond strengthened by the gift of sight, a beautiful story.

    in Father Poems

    She was born pink and soft with all of her toes
    She had my eyes and her mothers nose
    She cried for a moment and then settled down
    The angel of my life with hair of brown

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    Yeah, you're right that a father loves his daughter very much. Yes, the poem is very good.

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  22. The Pig

    Famous Poem

    In this poem, Roald Dahl shares about a pig that contemplates his purpose in life. When he realizes he is going to end up on someone’s dinner plate, he takes matters into his own hands. Roald Dahl’s poems and stories are known for dark humor and unexpected endings.

    in Famous Funny Poems

    In England once there lived a big
    And wonderfully clever pig.
    To everybody it was plain
    That Piggy had a massive brain.

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    I like this poem because it is contrary to what is normal, as the pig tries to eat the farmer instead of the other way around and it shows the power of humans over all other living things....

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