E W Shaffer

Poetry & Prose

When a narrative poem does not contain a predictable rhyme scheme but does contain the various parts of poetry (alliteration, symbolism, and so forth), then it is a free-form narrative poem, or prose poem. The only limit to the types of narrative poems is the poet's imagination (and what the audience can appreciate).
Will Conley, at eHow.com

Mr. Sweetly

Mr. Sweetly went to England,
Then he went to Wales.
After that he went to Prague;
He wore his coat and tails.

He ventured on to Russia
And visited Warsaw.
Then went to Nice and stopped into
A bar called Shangri La.

He met a lovely lady
And took her to a ball.
He thought that she was something else.
He thought she had it all.

She didn't think she had it all;
She wanted all his too.
She wheedled all his money.
She knew just what to do.

She took him to the cleaners,
Not his tails and not his coat.
In the lurch she left him so
On her he ceased to dote.

Sweetly headed home from Nice
And bid farewell to France.
For all that she had left him was
His coat and tails and pants.



The Boatman
(First 7 of 13 stanzas)

With everybody watching, Thurman
Stepped into the boat.
It wasn't tied up at the pier; the
Boat was not afloat.

He gazed out past the shinning hull
Around him near and far
As it sat upon a trailer in
The boatyard by a car.

He looked up at the mast, rising
Up so tall and straight
And watched the flag atop it there
Begin to undulate.

He raised one hand and slid it up and
Down along the shrouds;
The other blocked the sun that came
From out behind the clouds.

The jib was neatly stowed and
Its stays were standing stark
Against the evening sky and
The sounding of a lark.

The mainsail was extended but its
Sheets were hanging loose.
The cringles still were stiff and clean and
White from lack of use.

He pulled upon a halyard as it
Clanked against the mast
Trying not to think about the
Tragedies now past....

NARRATIVE POETRY—Quite simply poems that tell a story, long or short, serious or humorous, often undramatic and without quotes, may have rhyme and meter or be in the form of free verse or prose poems. One of the oldest forms of poetry.