The Collective Poet’ve always thought poetry as something very personal. As such, when you wrote in the first person voice, you are writing of your perspective and/or your experiences. If you wrote about someone else’s perspectives and/or experiences, like how Chaucer wrote of others’ tales, or how Coleridge wrote of Kubla Khan, among many other examples, you wrote then in the third person voice, aside from personal quotes of certain characters. However, in my newly intensified exposure to modern poetry, I have seen more examples of poets writing in the first person about perspectives and/or experiences not their own. That’s fine as a literary tool in prose, but I’m not yet comfortable with that aspect for poetry given how I associate poetry as something deeply personal, even if only on choice of expression to tell someone else’s story… as if you knew it rather than as if you were it. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks of poetry as something deeply personal to be handled this way, but, it seems, the world doesn’t agree with me.

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