Poetry pp 20-43 | Cite as

Speaker, Setting, Subject, and Theme

  • Ruth Miller
  • Robert A. Greenberg


It is always important in reading a poem to consider who is talking. Even though the word “I” is used in the poem, the poet may not be the speaker. The voice, whatever its origin—whether real or imagined, personal or impersonal—has an important function in a poem, for it is the owner of that voice to whom things happen, who feels an emotion or has a reflection to share; it is that speaker through whose eyes or from whose point of view a sequence of events or a series of details is presented.


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Limited 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruth Miller
    • 1
  • Robert A. Greenberg
    • 2
  1. 1.State University of New YorkStony BrookUSA
  2. 2.Queens College of the City University of New YorkUSA

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