Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How to Start Writing a Narrative Poem

Often, the hardest part of writing a poem - any poem - is starting. There's always the big question of "What do I write about?" This is then followed by "How do I write about it?"

Narrative poems, by their very nature, are somewhat harder to start than other poems. They have two strikes against them - the need for the story and the need to be poetic.

What is a Narrative Poem?

In fiction, we often use this term "narrative" to describe the way a story is told.  In poetry, we use this term to differentiate poems which have a narrative arc from those that don't.  Unlike a Setting Poem, which may simply express the beauty of a place and a moment, a narrative poem tells a story, often with a beginning, a middle, and an end (as in fiction).  The ultimate narrative poem would be the epic poem, such as The Odyssey or The Illiad.