If you were a person from a
different time or place, what would you see, hear, taste, smell, or touch
Brainstorm a list of what is going on around you and what is in your
thoughts. Use strong verbs and distinct nouns for your details. Read
through your list aloud. How does it sound? Does the character that
you created have a strong, authentic voice? Work through your words
to create your poem.
Here's a good example of a persona poem from
Scholastic Art & Writing Gold Award-Winner, Jonathan C. Mentzer,
"The Vessel of Death"
He is afraid of the white men,
But one of the lucky ones
On deck with air and light
For just a while.
He sees through the door
To the level beneath,
Spooning below the deck,
Head foot, head foot,
Chains cutting into flesh,
Groans and shrieking,
Dead people, waste, and rotten food.
Smells mingled together
Make him feel like vomiting.
Little ones strangling in the stinking slop,
Mothers screaming out their grief.
Suicide for some
Better than a ride on the vessel of death,
Food crammed down the throat,
Be forced to live,
No way out.
Remembers his home
Tantalizing smells of ripe fruit,
Where he could eat
Fresh roasted meat,
He sees his future,
Something worse than death,