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A Narrative Voice (A Poem)

By Joyce Jacobo

[Author’s Note: I find the distinction between narrators and authors very interesting. They are not necessarily the same thing, although sometimes it is easy to assume they always are when reading works from a first-person perspective.]

Hello. I am The Narrator,

        a teller of stories.

Sometimes a narrator is The Author,

         but we can be much different individuals.

This time I speak as The Narrator.

        That mysterious, disembodied voice who knows you exist

            . . . though only as The Reader.

               . . . Admittedly.

 Like any character,

           I have my limits,

                    although you will almost never hear me say so.

I work in the background to help shape what you envision,

       since with a single sentence I can turn tiny beans into mighty beanstalks,

       and then change my mind to say those beanstalks have shrunk into little pebbles—

           such as if the characters in the tale grow too impatient and argue with my recitation,

                or perhaps if I wish to spice up the action just a little bit.

Sometimes I appear in the narrative as the protagonist

         to recount my experience (with some reliability, perhaps) after the fact,

     or protagonists might relate their experiences to me as a third-party.

Whatever my role in-text,

      for you,

         Dear Reader,

              I am your humble host and guide,

                    here to lead you from the introduction

                               until my final bow at The End.          


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