We are nearing the end of the NaPoWriMo challenge. How are you doing? Today, “V” is for “Viewpoint.” The nature of a poem can change dramatically based on who narrates it. Sometimes the best way to elevate a poem is by changing the point of view.
For example, while I was in grad school, I watched a woman with her guide dog on campus, marveling at how well they communicated non-verbally. When I attempted to write a poem from the woman’s point of view, I felt it was flat and uninteresting, but by inhabiting the dog’s point-of-view, I brought the poem to life.
Song of the Seeing Eye Dog
by Alyce Wilson
(from Picturebook of the Martyrs)
I nose the curbed air. My woman
bends to touch me. I have licked that salty
trust. Her scent of orchid and mushroom
I know. And her feet by their rusty fall.
She wraps her fingers in my hair,
could find me in a brood of howls.
When the steel and plastic hushes
I uncrouch to tell her
Sister and we go.
Today, write a poem from an unexpected point-of-view. You might revisit a poem you wrote earlier this month, telling it from a different viewpoint. Or you could venture outside, drawing inspiration from the people, things, and animals you encounter.
Feel free to share your poem (or a link to your poem) in the comments.
The NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) challenge is to write 30 poems in 30 days during the month of April. For more, visit the official site, NaPoWriMo.net.