In 1999, the British poet and playwright Carol Ann Duffy published a book called The World’s Wife
, in which she gave voices to the ignored or unmentioned women from history, myth and famous stories. Her book contains 30 dramatic monologues, taking the imagined perspectives of women—from Little Red Riding Hood to Medusa to the wife of Charles Darwin.
“What gets me now is not the idiocy or greed / but lack of thought for me,” says Mrs. Midas in one of Duffy’s poems—a new angle on the Greek myth in which King Midas foolishly wishes for everything he touches to turn to gold. In this poem and others, Duffy uses the historically unmapped female lens to inspire thought and discussion on equality.
So, dear writers, what overlooked perspective could you write from? Have you ever read a novel where you wished you’d had more of an insight into another character’s mind? Could you explore what it would be like to be the close family or friend of a famous protagonist? Or could you bring to life a figure from history who was overlooked because of their gender, race, identity or beliefs?
Once you’ve decided, channel their opinions, their frustrations, and their desires into a dramatic monologue—a conversational poem that aims to help the reader understand the character’s intention and motivation.
If you need more inspiration, check out these pieces by Community Ambassadors NS Kumar
[This prompt was designed by Community Ambassador Alum barelybear.]