We got creative today! Taking the characters in our poems into account, we each designed a mask to illustrate how we think they will look. Here are the outcomes:

The whole class

Singh Song – Daljit Nagra

Students chose for Mr Singh to wear a traditional turban, or dastar, to represent the pride of his culture. They also felt that the colours should be vibrant, representing his happy, carefree life and healthy relationship. Some students chose to give him a cheeky smile and raised eyebrows, they felt that this represents his saucy love life with his wife ‘vee make love… like vee rowing through Putney’.

Medusa – Carol Ann Duffy

Medusa had to have snakes for hair; it is an image that we are all familiar with even if we haven’t read the poem. However, there were some nice interpretations of this, likening the snakes on her head to her twisted and bitter thoughts – the colour green representing her mad jealousy. They drew on ‘bullet tears’ to illustrate the metaphor used in the poem. There were some thoughtful interpretations, with some students choosing to make her natural features (eyes/lips/cheeks) beautiful to signify the beauty that she once possessed.

Hunchback in the Park – Dylan Thomas

The students chose to depict the hunchback as an old, disheveled fellow. He has unkempt hair and a wrinkled face to show the tough life that he lives. Most chose an anguished facial expression, with squinting eyes, to represent the pain of the ‘solitary mister’.

The Ruined Maid – Thomas Hardy

Two students chose to depict the two characters from Hardy’s poem: the ruined maid ‘Melia’ and the unnamed country girl. Melia is shown as glamorous and beautiful to signify her new ‘high class’ lifestyle. The ‘country girl’ was portrayed as simple yet still pretty, she has dirt on her face to signify the hard life of a farm girl in the Victorian era. Notice their facial expressions; the ruined maid seems vacant and distant, whereas the country girl has a warm, genuine smile.

The Clown Punk – Simon Armitage

The clown punk is shown here at his young age. He has the typical look of a punk – tattoos and a mohican. His facial expression is blank, showing the fact that he isn’t really given a voice in the poem. He has dark circles under his eyes, foreshadowing his future decay.

Checking Out Me History – John Agard

The student chose to cover Agard’s right eye to represent the metaphor ‘Bandage up me eye with me own history/Blind me to me own identity’.

The River God – Stevie Smith

Miss Belcher drew The River God and decided to have a strong focus on the colours green and blue. This obviously represents his setting (river) but the colours also connote feelings from the poem; blue for pride and strength, green for his bitter resentment of the women he holds hostage. His old age is also shown ‘Rough in my pebbles, reedy in my pools’

Brendon Gallacher – Jackie Kay

Miss Ryan drew Brendon Gallacher. She chose to give him red hair, pale skin and freckles to represent his Irish identity. He also has a holey t-shirt to signify his poverty and deprivation. He has a cherub like face that represents the narrators fondness for him. The image is also mirrored with a blank silhouette to represent his absence after he ‘died’.

We were able to cement our ideas and perceptions of the characters/voices in the cluster of poems. The class also enjoyed the opportunity to get creative and do some drawing!