Friday, February 7, 2014

Voice and a Voice Poem

Today, I’m kicking off a new series of posts on voice, the third of the Six Traits of Writing. We addressed the first trait, ideas, in a series of posts that Carmela kicked off. Our series on the second trait, organization, began with Jeanne Marie’s post. Visit them if you'd like to catch up.
On to voice!
Discussions about voice often include vague statements like “I’ll know it when I see it.” But voice is not really so hard to explain. Just as we each have a unique speaking voice, we each have a writer’s voice that is all our own.
Your writer’s voice develops over time, both from being yourself and from making a conscious effort to express your thoughts in new ways. Your ideas and the words you use to describe them come from your own unique experience and perspective. Your writer’s voice shows your personality through point of view, word choice, and language patterns, including rhythm and rhyme.
A character’s voice is not necessarily the same as the author’s voice. If it were, all our characters would sound the same.
It’s Poetry Friday, so I’m adding a voice poem I wrote (in my writer’s voice) about the voice of a character who might be me. You decide.
I Have a Voice

I have a voice.
My voice is mine.
And when the creeping tendrils twine
around the everblossom vine,
I’ll whisper in the darkest night.
I’ll shout out loud in broad daylight:

I have a voice.
My voice is mine.
I’ll buzz with fuzzy bumblebees.
I’ll chirp with chickadee-dee-dees.
I’ll sing until the stars all freeze:

I have a voice.
It’s mine alone.
I’ll laugh when I am on my own.
I’ll share with wild unruly bears,
elephants and dogs and hares,
even if nobody cares.
I’m generous that way.

I have a lot to say.

Today’s Poetry Friday Roundup is at No Water River. Enjoy!

JoAnn Early Macken


jama said...

Wonderful post and I enjoyed your poem :). Especially appreciated the mention of bears.

Unknown said...

Loved reading your voice poem. It is most certainly your voice and although it's about you, it could have been written about me as well. I have a lot to say about living things, and poetry is my medium to say it. Glad to be in such excellent company with other nature-loving poets and writers. Thanks for sharing, Joann!

Jill said...

Powerful poem, JoAnn!

Carmela Martino said...

What a terrific poem, JA. I especially like these lines:
>>And when the creeping tendrils twine
around the everblossom vine,<<
Thanks for sharing your lovely voice with us!

Rosi said...

Wonderful poem. I especially like your repetition of:
I have a voice.
My voice is mine.
And then your switch to:
I have a voice.
It’s mine alone

There is a lot of power in that. Thanks for sharing this poem.

Rosi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liz Steinglass said...

I love the confidence and exuberance of your voice.

Anonymous said...

Your poem is delightful! Thanks for sharing it.

Bridget Magee said...

I love your voice. You are generous that way. =)

JoAnn Early Macken said...

Wow--thanks, everyone!

Margaret Simon said...

This is a pattern I could use with my students to help them find their own poetic voices. Love the chick-a-dee-dee-dees!

jan godown annino said...

I like this multi-layered puzzle. Is the voice of
"I Have A Voice" a character created by the poet? Or, the poet?
Since I have benefited from the advice in JoAnn's wonderful poetry guidebook, I think I know. But do I, really?

Authors make up characters who speak in the character's voice, JoAnn reminds us.

Once again I have opened up TA to find that it is a gift - an idea for a writing prompt.