Persona

(220 words)
  • Editors

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

The fictitious narrator imagined by the poet to speak the words of a poem. Personae are much used by Robert Browning, T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound. Here, for example, is the opening of a poem by Robert Browning which is presented as spoken by a Florentine monk:

Frà Lippo Lippi

I am poor brother Lippo, by your leave!
You need not clap your torches to my face.
Zooks, what's to blame? you think you see a monk!
What, 'tis past midnight, and you go the rounds,
And here you catch me at an alley's end
Where sportive ladies leave their doors ajar?
The Carmine's my cloister: hunt it up,
Do, - harry out, if you must show your zeal,
Whatever rat, there, haps on his wrong …
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Citation:
Editors. "Persona". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=853, accessed 27 August 2014.]