Friday, March 1, 2024

Coaxing Poems 7: Choose a View

Hello again, my Poem Friends! Welcome to the seventh of ten poetry visits here at The Poem Farm. In each of these short videos, I will share a small something about poetry, and you will always be able to find the poem(s) I read below the video. If you wish, you may watch the earlier videos linked below:


Please make yourself comfy for Visit 7: Choose a View.

Students - Today's visit is all about choosing a view, deciding who to be and where to stand in any piece of writing. This is something we do in all writing, not just poetry. Do remember that most all of these writing teachings cross genres, and what we learn in our poetry writing, we bring to our prose. I so believe in bringing our poetry understandings to other forms of writing that I wrote a book about this idea - POEMS ARE TEACHERS: HOW STUDYING POETRY STRENGTHENS WRITING IN ALL GENRES (2017).

As you learned in the video, my poemdrafts for this week are all about the character of Little Miss Muffet. I wrote about her in many different ways, choosing a different view, or point of view, for each poem.

Draft, First Person as Miss Muffet
Photo by Amy LV

Early on in writing a poem, you will choose a view - or decide who to write as or to in your poem. Will you be yourself or a different character? Will you address someone in your poem or your readers directly? Will you write from a little distance? Remember that you may just make this choice without thinking a lot about it. But it still helps to understand what is going on behind the scenes of your and others' writing. Keep these possibilities in mind:

First Person - This is where you write in the I voice. You may be you or another, but you write using I. You might write AS someone or something else or you might write TO someone or something else using the word I in your poem. Writing TO someone or something not present in a poem is called apostrophe or a poem of address.

Second Person - This is where you write in the YOU voice. In certain lines of your poem, you speak directly to your reader with word YOU. This point of view invites the reader right into the world of your poem.

Third Person - This is where you write in the HE/SHE/IT/THEY voice. You are speaking about someone or something from a wee bit of distance. You are not the one speaking, nor are you speaking to a particular person object. Rather, you are telling ABOUT it.

Below, you will find four poems about Little Miss Muffet, each from a different viewpoint.

Here is my first person poem about Little Miss Muffet. You will note that I am writing AS Little Miss Muffet in the I voice. First person poems can be in our own voices, but when we write in the voice of another, such poems are called persona poems.

Below is another poem in the first person I voice, but this time I chose to write TO Little Miss Muffet rather than AS her. I am being me and using the I voice as I speak to Little Miss Muffet. I am using the word YOU, but not speaking to the readers. I am speaking to Miss Muffet herself. A poem that speaks to someone or something not actually here is called an apostrophe or a poem of address.

This next poem is in the third person voice. Notice how I use the word THEY to describe what Alice and Mary are doing. I am not writing AS them or TO them, but rather ABOUT them.

And in this final poem, I write in the second person, addressing readers using the word YOU.

Choosing a view - or point of view - offers a writer possibilities. When we write as someone or something, we will discover different ideas than when we write to or about this person or thing. I recommend writing a few different drafts, as I did, all around the same subject but taking different viewpoints for each one. Remember, no need to rhyme!

As you read your independent reading books or when you read books together, take a moment to consider the point of view. Who is telling the story? How does the point of view change the story?

Linda is hosting this week's Poetry Friday over at TeacherDance with an original acrostic poem about choices and kindness. Each Friday, all are invited to share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship in this open and welcoming poetry community.

Here's to a week filled with interesting, beautiful, quirky, and magical views. And if we have sad views, may they help make us kinder souls.



Please share a comment below if you wish.
Know that your comment will only appear after I approve it.
If you are under 13 years old, please only comment 
with a parent or as part of a group with your teacher.


  1. I have a hard enough time writing one poem for Poetry Friday and here you offer 4! I love that you've chosen a fairy tale character that all kids can relate to. The Poem Farm is one of our favorite places to hang out. You make me and my students feel welcome and empowered to write. Thanks!

  2. "What's a tuffet" is such a fabulous wondering! Love! (Now we need a poem from the tuffet itself!) xo

  3. Thanks, Amy. You always give me something to think about. I love all of your poems but I think Two Girls is my favorite - it brings the nursery rhyme characters into reality. I don't think I will ever again think about Miss Muffet as anything other than Alice.

  4. Amy, your posts are so rich and filled with learning, fun and creative, sure to inspire. I 'think' I've said this before but I hope many teachers are discovering, or are already following and using these posts/videos. I love that Miss Muffet shares her changes, that spiders have become her thing! And, I love that I now know she has Mary for a friend, guessing they also love being outside, just like you! Happy Weekend!

  5. Hahahahaha! What IS a tuffet? Such a great question. Teachers in my school are working on voice and point of view right now. This post and your great video are so timely! We have many students from other language homes that are trying hard to remember the differences between 1st, 3rd and the elusive 2nd voice. These are such good examples and explanation. I can't wait to share it!