© 2015 The Poet Darkling™
Obviously, anyone who knows me would know that this poem is in no way about me, and in no way represents my feelings, my experience, or my perspective. I wrote it for a young transgender girl that I counsel, to give a voice to her feelings, not mine. Nevertheless, a stranger reading this poem would have no idea of the back-story behind it, and would assume that I was the subject because of the first person POV.
However, I have learned that this is not a bad thing. After all, my goal is to write poetry that speaks to people and stirs emotion, not to present my personal experience to the world. Sometimes a poet has to be an actor, an imposter – which is what I had to do with this write. I had to empathize with my subject, dig into her soul not mine, and put myself into her shoes, and I felt the best way to accomplish this was to choose a first person POV. To illustrate this, consider the same poem, but written with a second person POV:
The girl in the mirror is pretty, but strange –
You don’t want to see her, you wish she would change;
You’d like her hair short and a beard on her chin,
Then she’d look like the boy you feel like