“The Voice of Poets and Fiction Writers”
By Yin Luoth, 13 July 2015
Poets and other writers assert their voices through their literary works. Poets express their voices through their poems; fiction writers usually express their voice through their novels, short stories, plays and movies. All of these different genres lead poets and fiction writers to use different writing styles including differences of vocabulary, syntax, rhetoric and the type of message they wish to convey to their readers, according to their own tendencies adapted to the time and the mood of their readers.
The voice of a poet or fiction writer depends on each poet and writer’s writing style. Basic to the styles they each use is the question of point of view (POV). Some use first person using subject I, some use second person using subject YOU, and some use third person using subject HE, SHE, THEY. Along with their character and their choice of the person, poets and fiction writers use metaphor, and other imaginative techniques. Working means exploration. They explore or exploration. They explore partly for themselves and leave some parts for their readers to continue their own exploration.
Each poet spends times and makes an effort to create his voice to communicate with his or her readers. William Kluback, in his book, Leopold Sedar Senghor: From Politic s to Poetry,
States that “The voice hovers over us like the shadows which never leave us… I have selected the voices I want to hear, the ideas that are working and creating within me. In other words, listening is a preparation for speaking” (Kluback 1). To create a good voice is a difficult task for each writer. He usually explores from nature or his own imagination. E.B. White, a famous American writer, says: “A writer is a gunner, sometimes waiting in the blind for something to come in, sometimes roaming the countryside hoping to scare something up” (White 100). White reveals the fact that voice is not something that existed beforehand or something that can be taught by predecessors. It has to be attained personally based on each poet and fiction writer’s identity and preference.
T.S Eliot is clear about how he express his voice. In his essay, “The Three Voices of Poetry,” he states: “The first voice is the voice of the poet talking to himself or to nobody. The second is the voice of the poet addressing an audience, whether large or small. The third is the voice of the poet when he attempts to create a dramatic character speaking in verse; when he is saying, not what he would say in his own person, but only what he can say within the limits of one imaginary character addressing another imaginary character”( Eliot 98). Each poet and writer cannot get away from using these three voices. If he doesn’t use one, he must use the other, or sometime use them all at once.
Readers also have difficulty understanding the voice of poets and writers. In the majority of literary works, writers use metaphor, or other imaginative devices which require readers to have some education and knowledge to assess the meaning of the poems or the stories. Therefore, in the world of literature, there are many different genres and readers can choose books that are appropriate to their preferences including style, rhetoric, and the essence of that chosen literary genre.
Eliot, T.S. On Poetry and Poets. New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux.2000. Print.
Kluback, Williams. Leopold Sedar Senghor: From Politics to Poetry. New York: Peter
Lang Publishing, Inc. 1997. Print.
Strunk, William, White, E. B., and Kalman, Maria. The Elements of Style. New York:
Penguin Group (USA) Inc. 2000. Print.