The farmer in the fields hears the thunder. The lightning illuminates his path back toward the house.

His wife is calling him.

Now his children leave the shelter.

Everyone runs toward the funnel of their lives.

In the second version, the farmer, wife and children are characters depicted in the third person; hence, an unseen character, or storyteller, must be relating events without commenting on or filtering them (more on that later).

In this poem by Robert Kinsley, the narrator also is a witness but his passivity plays a role in the action that occurs:

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