Writing Exercise

12 Feb

Hello members!

Here we have another writing exercise for you all. This exercise  has been designed to generate some beautiful poems or stories out of a masterpiece verse written by John Keats.

Isabella, or the Pot of Basil (1818) is a narrative poem by John Keats adapted from a story in Boccaccio’s Decameron (IV, 5). It tells the tale of a young woman whose family intend to marry her to “some high noble and his olive trees”, but who falls for Lorenzo, one of her brothers’ employees. When the brothers learn of this they murder Lorenzo and bury his body. His ghost informs Isabella in a dream. She exhumes the body and buries the head in a pot of basil which she tends obsessively, while pining away.

For your next activity, we are giving you a verse from this narrative and you all have to generate your own story of Isabella from this verse.  Here is your verse for the activity:

Fair Isabel, poor simple Isabel!

Lorenzo, a young palmer in Love’s eye!

They could not in the self-same mansion dwell

Without some stir of heart, some malady;

They could not sit at meals but feel how well

It soothed each to be the other by;

They could not, sure, beneath the same roof sleep

But to each other dream, and nightly weep.

You can either write a story or a narrative poem (it need not be a long one) for this activity. The last day to submit your entries for this activity is 21st February 2013. The entries have to be emailed at miracle.ezine@yahoo.com

P.S If you want to read the entire narrative, it is available here: http://www.online-literature.com/keats/3812/

Best of luck! And if you have any doubts regarding the activity, please leave your comments below.

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2 Responses to “Writing Exercise”

  1. Natasha February 12, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

    This activity is really unique. I have never done anything like this before. I have a feeling we will all have very different but good writings based on this poem. It is great to appreciate the older writers of poets and go back in history of how they perceive life or come up with stories. Most of the best storytellers are those of our past. I think we should all learn from our writers and make them proud.

    • Katy February 13, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

      I agree Natasha! When I read this I was thinking 1) this is going to be a challenge, and 2) what the heck am I going to write – poem or story? Oh, but the classic writers are my favorite, John Keats especially! I love to read how different the styles of writing were back then compared to the poetry today, it so fun to interpret the words and meanings. I think you are right we are all going to have such different writings, and I am excited to see what everyone writes! I think this one is going to be another big challenge for me (after that fantasy story!) but I am so looking forward to this 🙂

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