Writing a Monologue Poem
Adam Jefferys reports:
"A monologue poem -- also known as a dramatic monologue or a persona poem -- features a single speaker who is a fictional character and distinct from the poet or writer of the poem...Explore what sort of person your speaker is before you start writing: what your speaker does for a living, where your speaker is from, what adjectives you would use to describe the speaker, what he or she looks like. Most importantly, ask yourself why this character needs to say what he or she has to say within the poem. Characters who feel a need to defend or explain themselves are often particularly good choices -- this lends a natural tension to the poem...The speaker of a monologue poem exists primarily as a voice. The speaker’s voice should characterize him or her. Avoid relying on stereotypes or accents. Instead, ask how elements of your speaker’s personality relate to the way he or she speaks. If your speaker is full of himself, perhaps he speaks in long sentences filled with misused words. If your speaker is nervous, perhaps she speaks in only half-finished sentences...Just as the speaker in a monologue poem is not the poet, the implied audience in a monologue poem is not always meant to be the poem’s actual readers. The implied audience, like the speaker, may be fictitious...Consider who your implied audience is and how this audience affects your speaker’s monologue...Dramatic irony refers to a situation in which a character in a poem is ignorant of something that the poem’s audience knows. Many monologue poems use dramatic irony to great effect...Consider how you can use dramatic irony to allow your readers to understand things that the speaker is ignorant of."
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