meerkatt84
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Hey everyone!

I'm having issues with the concept of "poetic voice".

I've read definitions stating this refers to the persona or "voice" that speaks the poem....but surely its not always that clear-cut? I understand that the poet might be writing as if he/she is someone else e.g. a character in order to enhance the poem/prove a point, but many poems I've read don't have a clearly defined speaker - purely because who is speaking isn't as relevent as what's being said (in my opinion).
For example, in "To Autumn" (Keats), there's a lot of description and imagery, but not too much to help define it's "poetic voice". In a case like this, is it safe to assume that the speaker is likely to be the poet?

Or am I missing something?!

Also, in poems that appear to lack a more obvious narrator - do you think this takes something away from the poem itself? I like poems to have a purpose or meaning I can root out - without any idea of who's speaking, how can you delve into the poem?
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meerkatt84
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Anyone?!
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ScarecrowJack
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Well...I see what you mean, but you can always say something pretty much. I mean with the autumn poem it's grounded in reality, doesn't really make a point beyond describing the process of autumn.

But you can always point out the language and how it's used. This poem is hard because it talks about all aspects of autumn rather than focusing on good/bad aspects. But all poetry is filtered through a subjective point of view, so you can link what is said to his own perceptions and feelings. Basically, why didn't he focus on other aspects of autumn or why do certain things conjure up specific emotions?

The lack of any real specification over the narrative pretty much just means it's Keats himself, so you just have to talk about him. It is much harder than poems with a clear story though, but I've always considered them to have different objectives; some want to tell stories, some want to focus on beautiful or minute details.

Sorry if any/all of that's rubbish. or doesn't help.
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meerkatt84
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No, that does help, thanks! I see what you mean about having different objectives.
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buttons7
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i'd say that poetic voice is a fairly simple term. the problem is that, when studying poetry, you can't just go, "the author says ... [insert quote from poem here]" because that isn't necessarily correct. as you yourself said, the author may be speaking through a character, or simply not speaking as him/herself. it's really just a blanket term, something you can use when writing essays ("the narrative voice of [poem] says "blablabla""). it doesn't necessarily have to be an easily defined character that is separable from the poem, it is literally just the voice that speaks the poem, whether ambiguous, distinct, involved or otherwise.
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Emma snow
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So the poetic voice in a poeme means only the style of the author and when he is expressing himself through the characters used ??? Cause I have to do an exposé on poetic voice in bloodlines 'fred d Aguilar book but I'm not sure how to do it
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