Poetry as an art form predates literacy, since it is believed that poetry has its origins in song. The first poems were probably accompanied by music. Later, when writing was created, poetry was recorded in words.
The oldest surviving poem, the Epic of Gilgamesh, dates back to somewhere between the second and fourth millennium BC and was written in cuneiform script on clay tablets. Later, it was recorded on papyrus.
Contrary to popular opinion, poetry is alive and well today. If you have never written poetry, I encourage you to do so. It is a wonderful way to hone your writing skills because poetry requires focus, conciseness, and precision in choosing just the right word. All skills that help improve any genre of writing. 🙂