‘Influence and Originality: Creating a Contemporary Lyric Poetry Collection’
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This dissertation explores the considerations of a writer when compiling a first collection of contemporary lyric poetry, consisting of the finished collection and an accompanying critical reflection that details the writing process from inception, theoretical engagement, writing to completion. The creative aspect is a collection of thirty one original poems entitled ‘Skyway’, deployed in the lyric mode akin to contemporary poets such as Seamus Heaney, Owen Sheers and Philip Gross amongst others. The collection has been composed to reflect the discourse of lyric poetry with vernacular and subject matter that can be traced to South Wales and the surrounding area. Themes of spatial limits and boundaries are inherently associated with landscape and setting. Notions of a utopian natural order are juxtaposed with the fragmentation and conflict of personal relationships, with the recurring motif of the skyway symbolising a compromise between nature and humanity. The critical reflection analyses the way in which tradition shapes the poetry that is written today, acknowledging the importance of literary influences upon the individual writing processes. This concludes that these influences are a vital informing presence but must not be allowed to infringe upon the originality of a poets discourse which must remain his possession alone. The writing process is detailed to include the importance of language choices in terms of imagery, metaphor, symbolism, syntax and lexis. Form is discussed as a shaping and mediating presence upon language. The selection and deployment of themes and recurring motifs is explained in conjunction with their function of creating a collection that is both lucid and consistent. This critical reflection is aided by the theoretical observations of influential poets and theorists who are vital in contextualising and forming conventions by which the poetry would be judged in the current climate of literature and poetry. The critical reflection is designed primarily to inform the poetry collection that it accompanies, whilst evaluating the worth of the practices and critical theory that inform the specific writing process.
Dissertation by Ashleigh Davies for the BA English & Creative Writing course, submitted May 2012.
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