First person character studies

Worried that your poems are getting samey? That your poems are restricted by your "voice" and experiences? That you're parodying yourself? Then be someone else! It's more common in prose than in poetry, but even in poetry you don't always have to "write about what you know".

Benefits

Options

Subjects

Risks

Examples

Interviewing the Milkman - Tim Love
Mr Beckett? Never saw him, even through the net curtains.
His empties were immaculatedly washed though,
lined up on the doorstep. Cream on Sundays.
"No Milk Today Thankyou", his notes said at first.
Black ink; small, precise, rewritten each time. Only later,
a typewritten "No Milk Today Please", unsigned,
weighted down by coins that were still warm.

Exercise

Write a poem in the 1st person. Choose a character unlike yourself in age, morals, gender, and/or language ability. Whether the people are famous or not, you can do research!
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Tim Love, April 1996.
tpl@eng.cam.ac.uk