‘Of Mice and Men’ takes its title from an old Scottish poem. Use an idea from a poem as the basis of a piece of your own writing. Use the title of the poem as the title of your piece of writing.
Just how does one go about such a task as this?
In one sense it is an easy thought. I could take the title “Havisham” by Carol Ann Duffy and then write almost anything. It could be what should have happened to Miss Havisham on her wedding day, describing in extreme detail the wedding, her dress, the day, the venue, the guests. I could use lots of similes and personification, making the whole thing come to life on such a joyous occasion, even though that is not the way of the poem or Dickens’ character.
Or I could use the title of the poem by Simon Armitage that starts with “Those bastards in their Mansions” and you can guess what might come next; a story of lust and woe that would make Downton Abbey look like Peyton Place, or Eastenders. The things I could get the Mitchell clan doing would be beyond description. Oh the fun I could have with Phil Mitchell.
But the writing of it depends largely upon the poetry you have looked at. So, here are a few tips for you to consider if you get this project to do from your nasty little teacher:
- Look through the entire anthology at all the poems. There will be some in there that you have not studied as such, with your teacher. Just because you have not read and annotated a poem does not mean to say you cannot use it.
- Then, think about the poem because your writing needs to be of a similar theme. So says the title.
- With that done, ask yourself, do you need to change to tone? Can Havisham become a happy story in your writing? Or does it destroy the idea? In the Dickens novel she is a shrivelled old lady ditched at the altar. Can you do the same? Maybe a monologue from Edith [Downton Abbey] after she is jilted at the altar is doable.
- Then, with title and idea, PLAN IT THOROUGHLY.
- In the CA you are not allowed a draft but you are allowed a diagram of notes. Said spider-gram can relate to what is in each paragraph you know, as a hint for your creative writing.
- One final thing to think about: be as creative as possible. Show off your skills and enjoy the creative process of writing and creating this totally new art work.
And above all, enjoy the process. This is one where you can have some fun and fun at the expense of others. Maybe your teacher can be transposed into Miss Havisham after all, assuming she is female of course.