Writing is a form of art. Be it prose or narrative, the writer is attempting to communicate; no different than the painter using oil as a medium.
The concept of ‘painting with words’ applies to all writing. The writer needs to move away from the ’structural’ restrictions so many adhere to; those external controls (i.e., format, tone) that restrict how ‘abstract’ our paintings can be.
Poetry facilitates the communication of feeling through visual perception to its maximum. In other words, poetry, far better than narrative, allows you to choreograph the reader’s eyes across the page by the application of structure (word count per line, meter, verse, indentation, use of punctuation, or the intentional lack of punctuation, syllable count, rhyme, near rhyme, etc.) and word choice. Poetry is offering you a pallet of colors to paint feelings from. By the use of this choreographing you are not just imparting words, but invoking the same cues the recipient would get if he/she listened to you read it – your voice inflection – and watched your body language.
To illustrate my comment, here is a piece of narrative from the novel Through a Stranger’s Eyes:
However, before I could meet Breen at the park I had to make a quick trip to New York City for an early morning meeting. I went up the previous afternoon by train. Taking the train is a great experience, and far more relaxing then flying. The view from the train is an optical exercise in extremes; countryside foliage and harsh urbane blight. The tracks once laid in vibrant manufacturing areas and behind working class neighborhoods, now reside in wastelands of rusted metal and aged bricks. But the view from the train’s window affords a truthful look; the naked truth of what our city fathers hide from investors, from the tourist magazines, and from themselves.
(Through a Stranger’s Eyes, Copyright by Steven S. Walsky, 2005, all rights reserved.)
Now the corresponding piece of free verse poetry that was written as a chapter introduction:
View from the train
the rusted metal of bridges now trackless
the steel skeletons seen through un-paned portals of dirty,
cracked brick abandoned factories
the aged wooden, derelict outbuildings
the unkempt trackside vegetation
littered with remnants of life’s voyage
draws you to the past
giving you reasoning to future history, humanity,
the life of this country felt with your eyes
your eyes hearing the people who were,
but now hidden
as we build our beloved suburbia
as we clean up the gentrified city
as we sweep the blood and sweat of their flesh, their tears
under a carpet of what we call progress
(View From the Train, Copyright by Steven S. Walsky, 2005, all rights reserved.)