One virtue and a thousand crimes”: (Re-)writing narrative poetry, an ekphrastic approach

  • Tom Proverbs-Garbett

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    This paper accompanies a poetry collection, The Adept, which is plot-driven and follows the development of a relationship which might, in modern terms, be described as involving ‘coercive control’. The piece was inspired by two source texts, Walter Scott’s Marmion (1808) and Lord Byron’s The Corsair (1814), chosen as the apotheosis of popular narrative poetry. The Adept is informed by themes that emerged from close reading of the source texts, adopting an ekphrastic approach – the concept of responding to art with art. The intention of the exercise is to comment heuristically on the writing of a narrative poem and to explore the possibility of writing a lyric narrative poem, acknowledging that to some in the Academy these are mutually exclusive terms. Taking approaches from literary criticism and social sciences, including poetry-as-research and the idea of thematic coding (respectively), a critical exploration of the interplay between the source texts and the resulting creative work is provided. From this exercise are drawn some tentative, generally applicable conclusions about the practical difficulties of writing a lyric narrative poem.
    Date of Award2024
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorKevin Mills (Supervisor) & Barrie Llewelyn (Supervisor)

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