Verse novels love persona poems

Creative Margaret hosts the Poetry drumming this week at

LOVE for persona poems

posted by J.G. Annino

I’ve been enjoying a stack of novels in
verse & they send me looking into what these engaging
creatures are all about.

A visit to poet/instructor/sweet Poetry Friday pal/Tuscany expert
Renee LaTulippe’s No Water Water poetry site,
led me to that site section of Post Index & the entry, Verse Novels.
Many nourishing details there!

Then I toggled over to Michelle H. Barnes’
Today’s Little Ditty. In this month, May 2016,
Michelle, my poetry workshop pal/Poetry Friday guru & all-around
wonderful Florida colleague, features an interview with poet Laura Shovan about personal poems. Laura’s debut MG novel, which I featured here in my last post, is a novel in verse.
Laura asked for poems written in response to her writing prompt
and they appear daily on Today’s Little Ditty this month.

Did you know persona poems love verse novels and
of course, vice versa?

A persona poem lands

The shore at our part of the Gulf of Mexico is sand marsh. And that marsh and that shore make all the difference, in spring & fall.

For some birds, the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge is the first
landfall, after a punishing migratory haul across water.

And so it was that recently we ventured on an
old path at the St. Marks refuge. Old, but never before trod by us.
The grassy way was busy with plant & insect inhabitants,
but not with visiting uprights.


We admired everything, including water lilies opened to the sun
in still pools, the last pom pom bursts of purple thistle spikes
and assorted small yellow and orange beauties.

We found adult butterflies and juvenile grasshoppers.
When we met one critter I couldn’t identify & I wondered –
who are you?

by J.G. Annino

Dear bird watcher,

You saw a flash, pale yellow
I heard you – “What a pretty fellow>”
Do not think me here for show
I face treacherous miles to go

While you watch me on this thistle
Think – he had to stop and wet his whistle
Think – what other creatures has he seen
Think – what is his perch when humans dream

I lift my wings – I’ve seen seeds
After drink and rest it’s food I need
While wings beat steady steady again
Go write a poem, be my friend

I must fly,
Bob, traveling bobolink

c. Jan Godown Annino 2016

c. JanGodownAnnino
c. JanGodownAnnino

Some after story
Bob O’Lincoln is the call some birders
attributed to this bird. Over long time that name
evolved to the lyrical way we say it today.
A tagged bobolink once traveled 12,000 miles in migration.
In a day a bobolink can fly up to 1,000 miles. Without a
suitcase! Bobolinks like rice fields, to glean the grains, such as
in Louisiana & South Carolina on their way to Canada or The North U.S.
Sources: Cornell Ornithology Lab online

A thank you chirp for bobolink identification of this photo –
which I took May 7, 2016 on our walk at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge –
trilled out to my birding/writing pal, dear/near neighbor, Ann Morrow.
And two chirps of thanks to Michelle H. Barnes of the always illuminating Today’s Little Ditty, & to Laura Shovan for the persona poem prompt.


17 responses to “Verse novels love persona poems”

  1. I do like your philosophical yet realistic bobolink, and love the bird-watching-the-birdwatcher point of view. I think half the fun of coming up with a persona poem is imagining the point of view.


  2. 12,000 miles in migration!! I am in awe of that tiny Bob. I know no other Bob of my acquaintance that could manage that. I liked your poem on Michelle’s site, and I like it here, too, especially with the lovely free-flowing research and love of life that went into all of the writing.


      • I wrote a whole book with bird characters. I’ve imagined the fear of being a fledgling and facing migration of 3,000 miles for the first time. 12,000? Wow. Wish I could sell it. LOL


      • That’s great that you did that, Brenda. The important thing is that you finished it, when so many people don’t complete their books at all. And yes, tis so beyond comprehension what the little balls of feathers accomplish in the air, over such distances, facing such odds against completion of the journey.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. A bobolink! Thank you, Jan. I know you are having fun with your verse novel reading…. aren’t persona poems fun?? To get to see the world in a whole new way… lovely. xo


  4. Dear Jan, you’ve shared lovely links for more info about persona poems, and a wonderful one of your own. Thank you. I love the structure you used in your “letter” or “speech” from that dear bobolink. That middle stanza is marvelous.


    • Hello dear Linda. Thank you for flying in & to meet Bob.
      I hope you know that your article on Laura Shovan’s persona poems in THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY
      sparked my interest.


  5. I love when you join in the monthly challenges, Jan. 🙂 What a wonderful day that must have been! I’m enchanted by your picture of the butterfly and “pom pom bursts of purple thistle spikes.” I noticed you made a couple small changes to the poem/formatting since I posted it on Monday. Would you like me to replace the version I have with this one?


    • Hello dear Michelle!
      I like your editor’s keen eye, although I hesitate to add more duties to your loooong To Do list.
      But if you have the time, yes, thank you.
      More appreciations for your May persona poem partee.


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