Last updated: September 27. 2013 6:57PM - 1053 Views

Story Tools:

Font Size:

Social Media:

Neil Carpathios

Contributing Columnist

One of the poet’s favorite techniques is personification. This is when an inanimate object is imbued with life: The tree danced in the wind, the ocean waves whispered their secrets of being and disappearing, the wine glass screamed in pain as it shattered on the floor. And so on.

A reader would be hard-pressed to find a poem in which the poet did not reach, at least once, into his or her bag of tricks to pull out the magic wand of personification. And it is a sort of magic trick. The poet, with this wand, touches an ordinary object, and—voila! The object has suddenly started to breathe and sing and dance before our eyes.

Kara Smith is a 12-year-old student at Minford Middle School. She offers us a wonderful example of extended personification in the following poem. The poem was written as an assignment for Mrs. Robin Seaman’s language arts class.


I am a painting

Blank and quiet at first

Swish, swish you lightly brush

Colors vibrant yet firm

I begin to whisper

Still delicate, puzzling

The secrets I withhold

You try to unlock

Adding to my color

Filling me with thoughts

Your mood is changing now

Mine is too

Amusing, wondrous

Beautiful and bright

I am what you make of me

Treat me right

Now telling a story

Wise and true

The story I tell is the story of you

I am a painting

Bravo to Kara Smith! Her poem makes me really imagine what a canvas might experience during the act of creation, and what it might say. Or what a blank piece of paper might feel as the poet starts writing.

Address poem submissions and correspondence to: ncarpathios@shawnee.edu or Neil Carpathios, Shawnee State University, Dept. of English & Humanities, 940 Second Street, Portsmouth, OH 45662. (740-351-3478).

All user comments are subject to our Terms of Service. Users may flag inappropriate comments.
comments powered by Disqus

Featured Businesses


Info Minute

Gas Prices

Portsmouth Gas Prices provided by GasBuddy.com