Sunday, April 8, 2018

Poem #8 - Personification

Welcome to my 2018 National Poetry Month Project! I love projects!
It is wonderful to find so many folks are joining in at blogs and elsewhere. 
All are welcome!

This year at The Poem Farm, I will be writing a new poem every day about the constellation Orion.  Every day I will highlight a new poetic technique, a technique used by poets and by writers of other genres as well. After all, the techniques of poets are the techniques of all writers. I will be using my Fall 2017 Heinemann book, POEMS ARE TEACHERS, to lead me as I write all April long.

My hope is that some readers might also choose to dive deeply into writing about 1 Subject 30 Ways, to stick with one subject for a few days or for a whole month, approaching it from a variety of perspectives, in a multitude of structures, and with many playful word explorations.

Here is a list of this month's poems so far:

And's technique.

Personification Poem Drafting
Photo by Amy LV

Students - I tend to personify everything.  I do not have a favorite color because I might hurt the other colors' feelings. When I bump into walls or trip over rocks, I want to apologize to them.  Personification is me. I think that I like writing mask/persona poems so much because I can so happily identify with animals and objects, so enjoy imagining what they might think and feel.

When we personify something, we give it human attributes, describe it in a way that makes it seem like a person, have it do person-like things. In this way, we bring it to life and make it feel relatable to our human readers. Many information writers personify their subjects as this is a way to help readers imagine different perspectives from our own.

In my book POEMS ARE TEACHERS, I highlight personification with a poem by Deborah Chandra, one I have loved since I taught fifth grade in the early 1990s. The title of her poem (page 144) is "Suspense."   The two student poet mentors (page 147) are Lisa S. with "Beanbag" and Shealynn C. with "Small Boulder."  Thank you to these poets, and thank you to the teachers of the student poets in this book!

Remember, you can connect with all kinds of poetry goodness happening throughout April 2018 at my introductory National Poetry Month post HERE.

Today, April 8 at 11:59pm, I will draw a winning name of a commenter on yesterday's post. This person will win a copy of POEMS ARE TEACHERS, compliments of Heinemann!  I will announce the winner tomorrow, Monday, April 9.

See you tomorrow...with a poem inspired by a question!

Please share a comment below if you wish.


  1. They BELT out their song. (ha ha!!)

  2. Amy,
    I loved this poem which created quite a picture and sound in my mind. As someone with a beautiful nightly view of the stars, I think a choir makes a perfect descriptor. I had to smile at your discussion about personification. It does sound like you. I remember when you talked to our first graders about the mask poem which, in my mind, seems it might require this very technique.

    I am enjoying the way you are making me slow down to think more about the technique of a poem. My husband is an eighth grade English teacher. Sometimes I ask him to read a poem before I publish it. Every once in awhile there is one that doesn't feel quite right or that seems to need a little something before hitting the publish button. He so quickly spots these techniques. The funny thing is, often I have done something for the meaning of the poem, but given little thought to its technique. It isn't until he names the technique that I realize he is right. When I am struggling with the meaning of a poem, sometimes focusing on the technique can help me to write my way out of difficulty.

    Can't wait until tomorrow. Thank you, Amy. I'm always inspired by a stop at the Poem Farm (and anywhere you are sharing your thinking and poetry).


  3. As I read your poem I thought about how prevalent personification is in poetry and prose and how much I love it. Maybe that's because it's closely related to metaphor, which for me structures our world. I like the images or singing and light in your poem.

  4. I'm writing a poem every day, too--but chose the month of April as my subject. Am working on today's, which will be a list poem about a cloudburst during church!