Tag Archives: Part Two: Creative Writing

Project 3: Exercise 2 – Poetic Devices

I’m waiting for a guide to Post-Modernism to arrive in the post, so currently I don’t feel massively confident about distinguishing different era’s or styles of Poetry. However I’ve done a little research into more contemporary poetry.

I came across Popshot Magazine which combines Poems, Short-Stories & Flash Fiction with Illustration. I thought this was a good place to find some poems to  check their use of poetic devices. I also took a look at the Poetry Foundation website and a chose a poem based on the subject of ‘Autumn’ to find examples of poetic devices.

Popshot Magazine: The Illustrated Magazine of New Writing

Analysis of Poems:

Analysis of Autumn by Joan Mitchell

Analysis of Autumn by Joan Mitchell


Blue Eggshell Moment by J.S.Watts. Illustration by Karolina Burdon, p61. Issue 14 A/W 2015 Popshot Magazine.

Blue Eggshell Moment by J.S.Watts. Illustration by Karolina Burdon, p61. Issue 14 A/W 2015 Popshot Magazine.

analyising poetic devices








I have one book poetry which is a collection of William Blake’s poems. I wanted to look into one of his poems as an example of poetry from a different era, the 1800’s but also of a different feel.

'Song' by William Blake, published by Everyman Paperbacks, 1996.

‘Song’ by William Blake, published by Everyman Paperbacks, 1996.










Analysis of an extract from a novel:

p.49 extract from Tender Is the Night by F.Scott Fitzgerald, reprinted by Penguin Classics, 2000.

p.49 extract from Tender Is the Night by F.Scott Fitzgerald, reprinted by Penguin Classics, 2000.










In the extract taken from F.Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night , he makes use of personification to add to the emotion or drama of the incidents that happen to the characters. It aids the imagery and reinforces the perspective of the lead character Rosemary.

Spoken Poetry:

Sarah Kay: Ted Talk

Sarah Kay is a poet, or spoken word poet, and teacher from New York. During the Ted talk above she discusses how she approaches teaching poetry, in particular spoken poetry, which involves performance. I think it’s interesting to see the rise in this form of  creative expression, I always found it easier to engage with a story if it were read aloud or visualised in some form.

She also mentioned a technique she used to help people write their own poem’s, she asks them to list 3 – 10 things they know to be true and then explore one of those as a subject area.

Sarah Kay performance poetry:

Here’s a duet piece with Sarah Kay and Peter Kay: Love & Another on Friendship

Listening to their performances I could pick out fairly consistent use of Rhyming couplets, Metaphors, Repetition of phrases or single words, assonance.

Mostly I just enjoy their subject matter, it’s refreshing to hear poetry that isn’t self absorbed or exploring the darkest parts of life, repeatedly.

Using Sarah Kay’s Method – 10 Things I know to be True

  1. Life is better lived in community
  2. Joy is not the same as happiness
  3. Crisps are my favourite snack food
  4. Love has to be maintained
  5. You cannot change the past
  6. My granny is the cheekiest old lady I’ve ever known
  7. Doing the food shop whilst hungry is always a bad idea
  8. Having your heart broken hurts at whatever age it happens
  9. Creativity is healing
  10. It is possible to change.

Kate Tempest:

I first came across Kate Tempest during an episode of Artsnight, which was looking into poetry, particularly how contemporary poetry was breaking the stereotype of poetry being ‘high cultured’ or of a certain class.

Video: Bad Place for a Good Time

For my own personal interest it’s also interesting to see someone exploring Spoken word poetry from a Christian or Discipleship perspective. Using poetry to explore religion is nothing new, I certainly remember reading William Blake poems at A-Level. But I find that this format feels fresher, there’s something different in hearing and seeing the poem play out.

So this is David Bowden performing the poem/piece ‘Chew’

Considering it’s form as a piece is interesting; it is poetry and yet there’s a story told in the visuals alongside it; in this case someone preparing a meal, which reinforces the message which has been spoken. I wonder do we live in a generation which cannot just hear something and understand it, do we always need visuals to connect to the meaning of a piece?

That’s not a criticism of the piece of the visual, I think both tie together more a question or statement about creative expression today.

Writing my own poem’s using Poetic Devices & Sarah Kay’s method:

Granny is the cheekiest old lady I’ve ever known

When my granny was three,

Or so she tells me,

She used to steal vegetables from her father’s garden


When she was sixteen,

She was living the dream.

Being paid to sell bananas,

From a green grocers shop.


At the age of three,

I sat on her knee,

And laughed whilst she farted repeatedly.


When I was sixteen,

I took her out to the zoo,

She got confused and used the men’s loos.


At twenty-one,

I introduced her to someone,

My husband to – be,

To him she took a fancy,

As it came to goodbye,

With a glint in her eye,

She kissed him on the lips and not the cheek!


And that is why,

My granny is the cheekiest old lady I have ever known.


I think I managed to use rhyme, repetition and some consonance, but not much else, so I tried to write another poem using more of the devices…

Joy is not the same as Happiness

Happiness has haste in its DNA,

It waits for no one,

It wants what it wants, now!

Her favourite phrase is ‘me, me, me’.


Joy is different entirely,

She waits out the storm patiently,

Not driven by emotions or circumstances,

She lends her ways to others.


Happiness is hungry even whilst eating a feast,

Joy can withstand the harshest famine,

They have as much in common as night and day.


I think I managed to use; alliteration, assonance, personification, repetition, rhyme, simile. I’m not perfect a poetry so I think that I’ve done well to at least try and make use of the poetic devices for this exercise.

Project 3: Exercise 1- Poetry


Annotations of Poems for Exercise 1.

Annotations of Poems for Exercise 1.

Project 3 exercise one notes 2









a. The Herefordshire Landscape by Elizabeth Barret Browning – Purely provokes a sense of place:

Heavy use of descriptive imagery which evokes countryside or farm land: “Hills, vales woods”, “cattle grazing in the watered vales”, “smell of orchards”.

Use of repetition to emphasise housing as place ” cottage-chimney’s…cottage-gardens”.

Use of sensory imagery, in particular smell , which is often a strong link for people to certain place or moment in time or associated with certain belongings or physical locations: “cottage-gardens smelling everywhere, confused with the smell of orchards”.

b. Slough by John Betjeman – Makes a social comment about progress and place;

Makes strong negative connection between progress and it’s affect on place of slough. This is evident as he invites destruction on the town of slough; “Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!…Swarm over, Death….”

He also makes a particular point for the destruction of that which seems to represent industrialisation or modernisation “Come, bombs and blow to smithereens, those air conditioned, bright canteens”.

Repetition of the word “Tinned” adds to the sense of frustration or claustrophobia.

Use of the phrase “Tinned minds, Tinned breath”, imagery of trapped thoughts or function of people, is in juxtaposition to the freedom or open space touched upon early by the mention of ” grass to graze a cow”.


c. The Lost Land by Evan Boland – Speaks about place in relation to identity and exile;

It’s clear there’s a sense of affection and heartbreak at the loss of this land, even the description of Dublin bay “it’s rocky sweep” seems romantic and nostalgic.

There’s imagery associated with exile “backing out on the mailboat at twilight”, the process seems like it’s in haste and hidden due to being last in the evening.

Use of “shadows falling…the darkness coming in fast” – darkness as an image for ultimate cut off, you cannot see anything in the dark. Adds to sense of swift exit, and finality of the move.

Sense of identity tied to the place is clear in language associated with attachment “everything they had to leave, and would love forever?”

Description of lost land as “all the names I know for a lost land: Ireland. Absence. Daughter” – implies physical loss of land, e.g. Ireland, but also incompleteness and lack of identity, ‘absence’. Also strong emotional loss suggested by the word ‘Daughter’.















Planning: Art Gallery/Exhibition Visits 2016

One of the things I wanted to improve following my first assignment (and in general) was how much exposure I had to contemporary art. I visited the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham to see Fiona Banner’s Scroll down and Keep Scrolling, in November and haven’t been to any exhibition’s since.

I wanted to take a more planned approach to see if that would help me increase my visiting of places. So I’m going to make a note of exhibitions I’d like to visit and try and plan in when to do so. I will factor in things like travel, cost, my interest levels (and health) in deciding what to visit and when.

Illustrator Johnny Hannah at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park 14/11/2015-28/2/2016:

I am familiar with the work of Johnny Hannah through the collective St.Jude’s Prints. Johnny Hannah seems to be influenced by folk art in his style. I want to see his exhibition ‘Main Street’ at the Yorkshire Sculpture park, partly because I’ve never seen his work up close, outside of on a screen. I like the concept that you can take a stroll down a street with shop fronts or logo’s all designed by the one person but also unique, the website describes the exhibit as a “vintage inspired homage to the independent trader”.

Kaws at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park 6/2/2016- 12/06/2016:

I wasn’t familiar with the work of American  Artist Kaws until I saw a clip on the BBC news app talking about his exhibition at the Park. He’s created these giant cartoon figures which loom obscurely against the backdrop of the Yorkshire Countryside. Having grown up with pop culture, I think it would be really interesting to see these characters or shapes we associate with the screen as actual solid giant figures in our world.

I’m also intrigued to see how he’s moved from the medium of graffiti into a variety of mediums, such as painting, screen printing and sculpture.

Tate Britain Exhibition: Vanilla and Concrete 9/11/2015-19/06/2016:

This exhibition features a series of upcoming artists, “Marie Lund, Rallou Panagiotou and Mary Ramsden who use painting and sculpture to give new meanings to the everyday.” I’ve not seen the work of these artists before but was drawn by the concept of giving new meaning to the mundane. I’m interested to see how/if they’ve altered our perception of everyday life.

London Print Studio: Enchanted Page Friends 28/01/2016 – 2/04/2016:

I’m not sure if I will manage to see this exhibition but it seems fun. It’s focuses on well known children’s book illustrations and tries to bring them to life in an interactive way. Although aimed a children it also suggests it should appeal to those interested in illustration, which is where I come in!

Herbert Art Gallery & Museum: Grayson Perry The Vanity of Small Differences – 22/04/2016-3/07/2016

The Herbert is my local gallery, based in Coventry. It’s exciting to see that they will be displaying this series of modern day tapestry’s by Grayson Perry. I’m not entirely sure I like Perry’s work, but I want to take the opportunity to see it up close and personal before I make any decision on whether I enjoy it or not.  I think it’s also going to be good to see how he’s used a medium which is so often associated with the past or stately homes etc.

So I’ve looked at my calendar and put in a few different ideas for dates to visit some of the exhibitions:

Visit Yorkshire Sculpture Park: 19th February

Visit Tate Britain& London Print Studio: 18th March

Visit Herbert: 27th April


Project 2: Exercise 2 – Character Archetypes

I came up with of few other examples of archetype beyond those already suggested. As a recap those already suggested in my work book were:

  • Protagonist
  • Antagonist
  • Mentor
  • Sidekick
  • Shapeshifter

I drew up a different list below:

Illustration of Archetypes








  • Hero (Antagonist)
  • Villain (Protagonist)
  • Joker/Fool
  • Sibling
  • Mother
  • Victim
  • Coward
  • Lover
  • Damsel
  • Monster?
  • Fate?
  • Female Hero or Female Architect.

I came across a few new ideas or concepts of archetypes reading this udemy blog guide to literary characters, namely, Mother & Female Architect. I also found an interesting page from a Cambridge university site which proposed a slightly different structure to archetype’s.

It briefly names Vladimir Propp’s Morphology of the Folktale (1928) and a list of seven archetypes of fairy tales. I think some of these translate across several story telling mediums. 

  1. The Villain
  2. The Provider
  3. The Helper
  4. The Princess and her Father
  5. The Dispatcher
  6. The Hero
  7. The False Hero

Archetypes present in: ‘The Hunger Games’

Scan of front cover of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, published by Scholastic Ltd, 2011.

Scan of front cover of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, published by Scholastic Ltd, 2011.










Female Hero/Protagonist – Katniss Everdeen

Katniss is a complex character. The Hero because she fights for what is good, her love of her sister, defends the weak (Rue) and doesn’t kill gladly. But she is also a survivor, and willing to use deceit , to trick people into believing that she is in love with Peeta (at least that’s initially the idea). She defies the normal stereotype of a male character as the Hero.

Protagonist – President Snow/The Capital/The Games

The man behind the games, and who makes several threats and deals with Katniss is President Snow. Their relationship is interesting, he could easily order her killing but chooses not to. He is frightened by her lack of compliance with the capital, and perhaps a little jealous. He cannot get rid of her and risk rebellion by the other states, but he also cannot seem to control her into doing what he wants. He is a source of fear in her life, he even has his own calling card to intimidate her in the form of a rose.

The Games themselves are also the protagonist of the piece, they keep the story going, forcing the Hero to endure hardship after hardship. They seek to Kill all but one of contestants, and the game seems unfairly set against Katniss (the Hero) at several points within the story.

Mentor – Haymitch

He is literally supposed to be their mentor for the games, as a former contestant. He defies the normal fit of mentor, with his flaw, he is an alcoholic. Nevertheless he forges a strong, somewhat bitter relationship with Katniss and Peeta. He guides them through training for the games and acts as a mentor guiding their interaction with the capitol once the games are over.

Sidekick – Peeta Melark

Another complex relationship. I’ve said Peeta is the sidekick because he works to help Katniss stay alive throughout the games at any cost. However he is not purely the sidekick, as he is actually in love with her. He is also perhaps a Hero figure too, as he often rescues Katniss and believes in the good in people.

Lover – Gale/Peeta

Gale is the man that Katniss really loves from back home. They spend hours as young adults learning to hunt in the woods. He emerges as her lover in the series of novels, but again he is a darker character. He knowns Katniss is somewhat torn between him and Peeta.

Joker/Fool – Caesar

I wasn’t 100% sure who fulfilled the archetype of Fool or Joker. But I suppose Caesar does to some degree. He’s the face of the Hinger Games show as the presenter, he has a ridiculous flamboyant appearance. He is also entirely at the mercy of the games producer and the capital, a fool, not wise enough to make a stand. He seems to make light of the gruesome reality of a tv-show in which the contestants hunt each other down to the death.

Sibling – Prim/Rue

Katniss’s literal sister is Prim. She occupies a lot of Katniss’s inner world and is her motivation for survival. However Rue, a younger contestant of the Games represents a surrogate sister for Katniss. Katniss mourns her death in a manner like that of a loved one or sibling.

Damsel – Prim/Rue

I’ve called Prim/Rue joint Damsel’s because in the story Katniss enter’s into the games to save her sister from them, her sister is effectively the damsel she is protecting. But once inside the games she finds herself drawn to saving Rue, a young girl who is at risk from the older, stronger contestants. Rue becomes the secondary damsel in distress literally when she is captured in a net and Katniss rescues her.

Victim – All the participants in the games/ those under control of the capitol.

Project 2: My Own Hero’s Journey

Using the Hero’s Journey template from the first half of the exercise I have come up with my own plot. I think it’s probably best as the outline to a short story, but could make a sweet film. My Hero’s Journey focuses around a female lead character called Betty. Betty is a travel agent who is afraid of travel, or more accurately the unknown. The story really focuses on how she overcomes her fears to lead a more free life.

Act 1:

Ordinary World: Betty is a travel agent who lives in small flat in London. Her world is her job, helping other people reach their dream destination. Her world is entirely predictable, she shops in the same places, see’s the same people she always has etc.

Call to Adventure: Betty’s Travel agency is part of a larger firm. The firm is running a competition to acknowledge the ‘best travel agent’. Unbeknownst to Betty she has been nominated by her manager. Inevitably Betty wins the competition, the prize however is an all expenses paid trip to Umbria, Italy.

Refusal of the Call: She refuses to take the prize, finally admitting to herself and her boss that she has never been abroad because she is afraid of what might happen. She continues to carry on working, doing her best to ignore that feeling of disappointment.

Meeting with the Mentor: A man in his late twenties visits the shop she works in. He, Peter, wants to book a trip to Umbria, Italy. He has severe anxiety and has been wanting to take this trip for years. Betty feels able to open up to him about the prize. He convinces Betty to go with him to Umbria, saying he will help her overcome her fears.

Act 2:

Tests, Allies, Enemies: Everything is a test for Betty. A test of her resolve, but also of her courage. It takes courage for her to take her first flight, the taxi to the hotel. Staying somewhere unfamiliar overnight is a huge test. Peter is obviously the first of her allies, but she meets another named Sophia. Sophia finds Betty having a panic attack in a local store. She calms Betty down and helps her back to the hotel. The two become friends. Betty’s enemy has been with her all along – her anxiety and fear of change. It rears it’s ugly head throughout the trip!

Approach to the Inmost Cave: Betty is feeling demoralised and wants to return home. She feels like she must complete one activity alone before returning. She has always wanted to see one particular town in Umbria. She plans a trip to this town.

Ordeal: Along her journey to the town she becomes lost. She asks a stranger for directions, he deliberately misdirects her, and she becomes even more lost.

Reward: She refuses to give up and despite being alone and lost, continues on. The stranger’s direction leads her to a beautiful elevated view of the countryside and town below. He directed her to a view which allowed her to see all the town but from a different perspective. She also gains new faith in her ability to manage the unknown.

Act 3:

The Road Back: Betty’s journey back home gives her time to re-access her life, as she travels she comes to an epiphany.

Resurrection: Betty’s Resurrection is a new life, new job – as a travel guide in Italy. She finally gets to travel to all the places she studied and put the Italian she learnt at University to good use.

Return with the Elixir: The Elixir for Betty is a transformed view of herself, and freedom from her anxiety. She is able to share this and help others, including Peter.

Notes on process:

At first I found this task really difficult, I didn’t know where to begin. I feel like art and creative writing for me a strongly linked to drawing from personal experience. I didn’t know how to write something really fantasy based or comical. But I know what it’s like to experience anxiety and to have to find ways to overcome it in the everyday activity of life. I used this as my idea for the story outline.I don’t think it’s a masterpiece of creative writing but I do think it makes good use of the metaphor’s in the Hero’s Journey by putting them in a very human, down to earth scenario.

I also took some time to create an image to go with this post, using some photo’s from my own trip to Italy when I was a teenager. I used Photoshop to do this, it’s not perfect but I enjoyed doing it and it helps me not to forget all the things I learned to do in my graphic design module.