Point of View in Poetry
Here are some teaching poems written from the first person point of view:
The Snowflake by Walter de la Mare
Before I melt,
Come, look at me!
This lovely icy filigree!
Of a great forest
In one night
I make a wilderness
By skyey cold
Of crystals made,
All softly, on
Your finger laid,
I pause, that you
My beauty see:
Breathe, and I vanish
February Twilight by Sara Teasdale
I stood beside a hill
Smooth with new-laid snow,
A single star looked out
From the cold evening glow.
There was no other creature
That saw what I could see–
I stood and watched the evening star
As long as it watched me.
The Old Woman Tossed Up in a Blanket
by Walter Crane
There was an old woman tossed up in a blanket,
Seventeen times as high as the moon;
Where she was going I could not but ask it,
For in her hand she carried a broom.
“Old woman, old woman, old woman,” quoth I;
“O whither, O whither, O whither so high?”
“To sweep the cobwebs from the sky,
And I’ll be with you by-and-by!”
Winter and Summer by Oliver Herford
In Winter when the air is chill,
And winds are blowing loud and shrill,
All snug and warm I sit and purr,
Wrapped in my overcoat of fur.
In Summer quite the other way,
I find it very hot all day,
But Human people do not care,
For they have nice thin clothes to wear.
And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the world is like a stew,
And I am much too warm to purr,
I have to wear my Winter fur?
Beyond Winter by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Over the winter glaciers
I see the summer glow.
And through the wild-piled snowdrift
The warm rosebuds below.
Who Has Seen the Wind? by Christina Rossetti
Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you;
But when the leaves hang trembling
The wind is passing through.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I;
But when the trees bow down their heads
The wind is passing by.
Poems written in the second person point of view are written from the you point of view.
Auguries of Innocence by William Blake
To see a World in a grain of sand,
And a Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour.
If--by Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
TO THE VIRGINS, TO MAKE MUCH OF TIME
- Robert Herrick
GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying :
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he’s to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer ;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may go marry :
For having lost but once your prime
You may for ever tarry.
Third Person Point of View is written from the perspective of he, she or it.
The Juggler of Day by Emily Dickinson
Blazing in gold and quenching in purple,
Leaping like leopards to the sky,
Then at the feet of the old horizon
Laying her spotted face, to die;
Stopping as low as the otter’s window,
Touching the roof and tinting the barn,
Kissing her bonnet to the meadow–
And the juggler of day is gone!
The Elephant by Hellaire Belloc
When people call this beast to mind,
They marvel more and more
At such a little tail behind,
So large a trunk before.
The Big Baboon by Hillaire Belloc
The Big Baboon is found upon
The plains of Cariboo:
He goes about with nothing on
(A shocking thing to do).
But if he dressed up respectably
And let his whiskers grow,
How like this Big Baboon would be
To Mister So-and-so!
A Young Lady of Lynn by Anonymous
There was a young lady of Lynn,
Who was so uncommonly thin
That when she essayed
To drink lemonade,
She slipped through the straw and fell in.
Summer Evening by Walter De La Mare
The sandy cat by the Farmer’s chair
Mews at his knee for dainty fare;
Old Rover in his moss-greened house
Mumbles a bone, and barks at a mouse
In the dewy fields the cattle lie
Chewing the cud ‘neath a fading sky
Dobbin at manger pulls his hay:
Gone is another summer’s day.
The Eagle by Alfred Lord Tennyson
He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ringed with the azure world, he stands.
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.
Sunset by Emily Dickinson
Where ships of purple gently toss
On seas of daffodil
Fantastic sailors mingle,
And then—the wharf is still.