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Narrative poems

Some poems tell stories. These poems tend to be quite long and often rhyme. Before writing and books were common, people used narrative poetry to tell stories. The rhymes and the rhythm made the stories easy to remember and pass on to other people.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge is a good example of a narrative poem.

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.

It tells the story of a sailor left alone on a boat when the rest of the crew dies.

Dead sailors on a ship

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