Writing in the Second Person

Some of the most effective poetry or prose that I’ve read is that written in the second person. The voice automatically becomes conversational and creates something of an intimate feeling.

Second person prose is often a challenge and tends to be confined to pieces of short fiction. Either prose or poetry can be addressed to a person, an object (ever say a few choice words to your laptop), God, a pet, or even yourself. There is no limit to span of emotions that you can express: anger, sadness, and quite often, love. The voice may be formal, informal, written in dialect. Grammar can be perfect or full of errors that will help to develop a character. Working with second person prose is a great asset for the fiction writer as he or she works to develop skills in writing dialogue

For today’s prompt, conjure up a person, place or thing–real or imaginary–and speak to it in poetry or prose. Consider the mood you wish to create and the voice in which you want to write.

To participate:

  • Write your short fiction, essay or poem and post it on your blog or website;
  • Access Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post and add your name and the direct URL of your post;
  • Take a few minutes to visit and comment on other participants’ work and return visits to those who’ve commented on your work.

For my poem, I chose an older one that celebrates Spring as the season of love. If it looks familiar, it’s been out there before. I will also link this to Open Link Night at dVerse Poets’ Pub, with apologies for not coming up with something new. If you’ve haven’t stopped by the Pub this week, you don’t know what you are missing! Come on down..

Garden with some tulips and narcissus


Do you remember the cloud
that looked like a white dog bounding
across the empty gray sky?

Or the coupling dragonflies,
their wings shaved slivers of
shimmering moonstone or fire opal?

Nearby, something moldered in dank earth.
Its smell mingled with
the scent of our sweat and sex.

A chorus of crickets undulated
in an outdoor theater,
unabashed by our nakedness.

You told me to get on top because
the grass beneath our blanket scratched me.
A breeze licked my body.

Do you think that it was love?
Or maybe because tomorrow would be spring.


Photo credit: Wikipedia

33 thoughts on “Writing in the Second Person

  1. dragonkatet says:

    I don’t think I had read this poem before but it was filled with wonderful sensations! I have almost never written in second person, but mainly because to me, it is such a challenge to get the balance of the tone right. It’s like a fine line to walk between leading the reader and letting them go where they will with a piece of work. I truly admire that you make it seem so easy, Victoria!


  2. zongrik says:

    wrote a little one…
    i love the colors in that picture


  3. […] This free-verse poem was written in response to Victoria’s weekly prompt “Writing in the Second Person” from her blog Live to Write Today. […]


  4. So beautiful, it made me blush and smile. Amazing work. Trying to build my nerve to write and post mine. Excited about writing poetry. Your work does that. Lovely.


  5. Mary says:

    What a beautiful and sensual poem! And yes, it was love AND spring. They go together so well, don’t they. I also linked a poem, which I enjoyed writing just this morning. I do like the sound of 2nd person poems and often are quite satisfying to read and write!


  6. dani says:

    thank you so much for linking in my poem, Victoria! it’s an honor. i LOVE this post.

    i’ll be by over the weekend to visit others.

    my heart’s love songs


  7. You are so right. That second person voice poem is so very personal. I also feel as if I’m listening in on something private that I shouldn’t be hearing, but I can’t stop. Wonderful!


  8. […] Writing in the Second Person    at    liv2write2day’s Blog prompt:    write in the second person […]


  9. worninshoes says:

    This fills all five senses with truth and emotion. Molder – great word!


  10. siubhan says:

    I also liked those last lines, that last question. *smiles* you paint a great picture of the moment here.


  11. markwindham says:

    Love the poem Victoria. The subject matter intrigues as well. I have experimented with a couple a pieces that are strictly one sided dialogue.


  12. Emma says:

    I love the way the poem turns midway through from the beauty of the natural surroundings to the possibility of love- sweat and sex- I wasn’t expecting that! Lovely exploration, I’m a fan of writing in the second person as well, it can be such an effective way of telling the story.


  13. wolfsrosebud says:

    “their wings shaved slivers of
    shimmering moonstone or fire opal?”

    Great lines… very visual


  14. A real antidote to my pessimistic musings regarding spring. I love the way you convey the sense of rebirth and youthful passion. Great write.


  15. vivinfrance says:

    That second stanza had me breathless with its beauty and the whoe poem is a wonderful explosion of joie de vivre.


  16. Jamie Dedes says:

    Lovely poem. Lovely photo. Enjoyed both.

    Yes! I think it is often powerful to write in the second person.


  17. hobgoblin2011 says:

    Terrific write Victoria. Really appreciate the use of the senses, the fine use of description and the second stanza is a standout for me, really enjoyed. Thanks


  18. Ah spring… the second person adds perfectly to the intimacy of this. Good poem. 🙂


  19. […] Writing in the Second Person (liv2write2day.wordpress.com) Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like4 bloggers like this post. This entry was posted in Challenges and Contests, Flash Fiction Pieces, Life Writing, Marketing my Writing, My Poetry, Platform Building Campaign, Write 1 Sub 1 Monthly Challenge, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples and tagged challenges, Concrete bridge, contest, fiction, flash fiction, Online Writing, Ordinary Magic, Platform Building Campaign, Word, Writers Resources, writing samples.Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments […]


  20. Ravenblack says:

    2nd person writing feels more intimate. It tends to come across as being more personal. Sometimes I feel it can be a bit overwhelming, for myself I try to avoid it because I get ranty with this angle of writing.

    Very passionate piece, Victoria. 🙂 The third stanza seems to come across to senses a bit strong compared to the others which seem more subtle and gentle in mood. The last two stanzas are really good, sums and ends it very well.


  21. It smelled of “after the rain” to me and prickled like the desire of “first love”. Nostalgic and affecting write. Loved it.


  22. thbthttt says:

    I enjoy writing in the second person . . . it’s like you’re telling people what to do.


  23. Your words turn me on just enough. Love your dragonfly description. Excellente.


  24. ayala says:

    Love and spring, two wonderful things 🙂 a beautiful write, Victoria .


  25. Maybe a combination. Excellent lines. Just sensual enough not to over power your point.


  26. brian miller says:

    woohoo a little spring ritual here out among the grass…calling in the new life…we’ll call it love…or perhaps a bit of wild abandon…smiles…love all the sounds and images you bring out of the surroundings….


  27. leahjlynn says:

    I might write something for you later. Your poem was real, and vivid perfect for spring


  28. claudia says:

    hey…i remember that one…nice..
    i didn’t expect the scent of sweat and sex….but i loved it…and maybe…it was both…love and spring…smiles


  29. Angela says:

    Wonderful closing lines! Just love them.


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