ENG 5020 Blog #8 RECONSIDERATIONS: Voice in Writing Again: Embracing Contraries Peter Elbow Reaction Paper – Fatima Muhammad

In this article Peter Elbow discuss two kinds of voice linked to the self of the writer.  Voice is an important dimension of texts and we should pay lots of attention to it.  Everyone has a real voice and can write with power.  Writing with a strong voice is good writing.  Sincere writing is good writing.  My voice is my true self and my rhetorical power.”  (Peter Elbow)

            As an aspiring writer my task is to find my real self and tap into my real voice.  My focus in writing is to produce creative and uplifting, inspiring and motivating works of art; particularly writing poems.  I have begun my journey and I am confident that I am on the right path to gaining these skills.  However, I have a trait that can be a bit of a hindrance.  And that is, I am shy.  Unfortunately my shyness blocks my ability to open my world and share the real me, my real voice.  Not that my writing is fake; no at all.  And although,  my voice is sincere,  my written vice is not as strong as I would like it to be; or to my full potential.  Peter Elbow, “argues that writers should try to make their writing reflect their actual selves.”  He also states that, “the fact is that some effective writing seems to get its power from convincing readers that the writer is not calculating the right stance of voice but is allowing himself or herself to show sincerely.”  I have a poem that I wrote about love.  It describes a loving relationship in a simplistic state.  When writing that poem I allowed myself to show my sincerity.  When I read this poem to the public, the audience appreciates my sincerity and finds my poem relatable to their lives.  They always react with smiles, positive comments and much encouragement.    When writing this poem I allowed my true voice to express my sincerity.  I have other poems that I somewhat opened up, but not to that level.  Moving forward I will work towards revealing my true self in my writing.  “To learn to speak or write better, we need also to work on better persons.”  (Peter Elbow)  I will include personal growth to my task to express my voice.  I do believe that improving one’s personality and increasing skills does build confidence in sharing one’s sincerity.  

            Peter Elbow also speaks about resonance, “When I am reading a text of some length, I sometimes sense bits of what I want to call “resonance”: I experience them as pieces of added weight, richness, or presence-even if they are bits of irony, play, metaphor, or even silliness.”  My poem that I mentioned earlier has pieces of resonance.  The title of the poem is repeated throughout the poem.  And with a small twist, it is also the last line of the poem.  This repetition creates a rich melody that captures the audience’s attention.  In addition, the poem has many metaphors.  These metaphors paint visions of love at its best .  I’ve written other poems and read them to different audiences.  However, this poem usually gets the strongest response.  Peter Elbow states, “But can I argue that writers should try to make their writing reflect their  actual selves?”  My answer would have to be, “Absolutely yes.”  I wrote that poem from deep down in my heart.  I believe the success of the poem is that the poem is a reflection of my actual self.

Peter Elbow at WMWP

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