Narrative Poetry


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Thread: Narrative Poetry

  1. #1

    Narrative Poetry

    Is it a good idea? Has any modern author even attempted it?

    (I'm finding the 10-syllable per line sonnet limit very hard to work with for actually creating a scene.)

  2. #2
    Narrative poetry is very common among contemporary writers, It simply means the poem is told from the perspective of a narrator. Usually (not always) there is some kind of story. If you go to Rattle.com you can read lots of new contemporary poems.

  3. #3
    I LOVE narrative poetry, especially rhyming narrative poetry! TL's right that there's a lot of contemporary narrative poetry out there, but most of it's free verse, which is less my thing.

    I think it's a good idea. I would really enjoy a narrative sonnet. But, yes, it isn't easy to balance story, flow, and fitting within a structure all at once. I wrote a long narrative poem in heroic couplets--even without a hard syllable count it was difficult, and I sometimes spent hours on one couplet. But it was very rewarding and I'm proud of the finished product.

    One tip: have the general story fleshed out ahead of time, but not all the details. That way you can shift the details around for flow and structure's sake. So, for example, in the poem I wrote, I knew I had to have a 'scene' (stanza) where the protagonists' friends are described, but I made up their names and some of their features on the fly so that it wouldn't be impossible to stay within the iambic pentameter.
    In my mouth, if there be sweetness,
    It has come from my Creator;
    If my hands are filled with beauty,
    All the beauty comes from God.
    ~ from The Kalevala (paraphrased)

    Whom have I in heaven but You?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides You.

    ~ Psalm 73:25

    Christ is risen from the dead,
    trampling on Death by death,
    And on those in the tombs,
    lavishing light.






  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by EternalGreen View Post
    Is it a good idea? Has any modern author even attempted it?

    (I'm finding the 10-syllable per line sonnet limit very hard to work with for actually creating a scene.)
    I love narrative poetry. It's one of the few forms of poetry I actually like. The Raven by Poe is an all time favorite. The Charge Of The Light Brigade is another good one.

    Modern wise? Yeah there's a lot, different to the old days. I believe they tend to be less epic in length but still story-character focused. A lot of it is on YouTube. Tim Minchin has some excellent, comedic narrative poems.

    A recent and very popular short narrative poem is ' The Great Realization' by a British poet named Tom Foolery, linked below.

    Deactivated due to staff trolling. Bye!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by EternalGreen View Post
    Is it a good idea? Has any modern author even attempted it?

    (I'm finding the 10-syllable per line sonnet limit very hard to work with for actually creating a scene.)
    Reading this, I had a few questions.
    Why would you want to try it? Is poetry something you like to write already? If not, it might be more of a burden than a pleasure.

    And why mention a sonnet in 10 syllables (which is not the same as iambic pentameter)
    There are so many poetry forms, why the restriction of a sonnet?

    I am writing a book that is, I assume, narrative poetry interlaced with poetic prose. There are so many possibilities out there.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    I love narrative poetry. It's one of the few forms of poetry I actually like. The Raven by Poe is an all time favorite. The Charge Of The Light Brigade is another good one.
    !!!! The Charge of the Light Brigade. One of my favorite poems of all time!

    To the OP, and bouncing off of Darren, it is good to consider what is the best form for the story you are trying to tell. Will it actually work as a sonnet (I mean, for one, is it short enough?)? There are a lot of poetry forms out there, and you can always invent your own. Or even beyond poetry ... I always ask myself: is this story best as fiction? Poetry? A song? A drawing? (If it's a movie or video game, too bad for me; gotta wait until my little siblings grow up and start companies for that one...lol).
    In my mouth, if there be sweetness,
    It has come from my Creator;
    If my hands are filled with beauty,
    All the beauty comes from God.
    ~ from The Kalevala (paraphrased)

    Whom have I in heaven but You?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides You.

    ~ Psalm 73:25

    Christ is risen from the dead,
    trampling on Death by death,
    And on those in the tombs,
    lavishing light.






  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Darren White View Post
    Reading this, I had a few questions.
    Why would you want to try it? Is poetry something you like to write already? If not, it might be more of a burden than a pleasure.

    And why mention a sonnet in 10 syllables (which is not the same as iambic pentameter)
    There are so many poetry forms, why the restriction of a sonnet?

    I am writing a book that is, I assume, narrative poetry interlaced with poetic prose. There are so many possibilities out there.
    Oh, I have some mileage with sonnets. I was thinking that I could write 2 or 3 "sonnets" per scene and develop an entire short story. Blank verse, of course. The key would be to totally avoid abstractions and -ironically- keep flowery language to a minimum.

  8. #8
    Avoiding abstraction and flowery language is a good strategy in general. I also prefer blank verse sonnets to end-rhyme sonnets. They tend to be less contrived with a more natural flow. There's no reason that a sonnet can't be narrative. I've written several.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by EternalGreen View Post
    Oh, I have some mileage with sonnets. I was thinking that I could write 2 or 3 "sonnets" per scene and develop an entire short story. Blank verse, of course. The key would be to totally avoid abstractions and -ironically- keep flowery language to a minimum.
    That's not ironical at all. For some reason sonnets and flowery language are mentioned in one sentence very often (and I don't mean you ). But that doesn't have to be the case. Indeed, Blank Verse already helps you a lot, because it removes the chains of end rhyme. It does however not remove the iambic pentameter requirement (or any other formal form).
    For my own book I only have here and there a poem that might be classified as an end-rhyme poem. I prefer Free Verse, even though I have a 'classical' poetry education.
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  10. #10
    The theme of sonnet poetry is a difficult form of poetry, but the author who conveys all the messages he wants to say into poetry is a talented person.

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