Rhymes can be memorized easily, so poetry was originally an oral means of transmitting laws, stories, history and other ideas that cultures wanted to preserve. Poets choose and arrange words that enable readers to envision the places and events in the writer's mind.
As cultures expanded and became literate, they stored long-term records by writing them. Because writers had less to memorize, they had more time to write poems. Many short poems could be composed and stored, which led to the writing of plays and song lyrics. This began in Greece around the sixth century B.C.E.
There are many different forms of poetry ranging from sonnets to rap lyrics, and each variety relies on the talent of the writer to express incidents in time and place with words. According to Poetry.org, poets use techniques such as rhyme, alliteration, rhythm, simile and metaphor as tools.