Read the chapter.  Define synesthesia and give an example, yours or one from the book.  Due next week, 28 April. 


Creative writing assignment – imagining the senses [last 10 pt assignment]

Write a brief example of creative writing that prompts your reader to imagine all of the senses.  At the end, identify the specific references.  (Brief = a page or less).  Bring 5 copies of your work to class, and we will read it in groups.  Due May 12.


Simple instructions: describe a scene, mentioning each sense.  Example:

A dog with yellow wiry hair jumped up on the family table and began eating the ham.  Smelling all the food got the dog very excited.  As he snorted and swallowed, he pushed the dishes off the table.  The dishes fell to the floor with a loud crash. 

1.       Taste: ham

2.       Sound: crashing dishes, snorting

3.       Sight: yellow

4.       Touch: wiry hair

5.       Smell: food

6.       Emotion: excitement


That is OK for the assignment, but it isn’t very good.


Better: describe the experiences of a character, and have those sensory inputs relate to a mood or an action.

He crossed the empty plaza, aware of the crunch of loose gravel under his boots. The gray, volcanic gravel was rough, and the sound echoed off the cold, hard walls of the town square.  He pulled his thick coat tighter about himself.  As he did this, the many layers of scent reminded him that he had slept in a barn the previous three nights; he could almost taste the hay.  The pains in his muscles added their voices to his recollection.  A stab of yellow, the flash of a silk dress accompanied by a child’s piercing laugh, jolted him into the moment.  At once, one question took over his entire consciousness: did I just see my daughter? 

1.       Sound: gravel, laughter, silk

2.       Touch: gravel under boots, silk

3.       Bodily sensation: boots, the “self-hug” of the coat, muscle pain

4.       Smell: barn odors in coat

5.       Sight: gray, yellow

6.       Taste: almost hay

7.       Imagination: what is the story of the relationship of the “outsider” father to his perhaps-daughter?


This still isn’t great literature (“gray, volcanic gravel” is rather clumsy), but it is more interesting!

A = at least 5 senses used, with clear explanatory list

A+ = an A, but with a bit of creativity or artistic flair

B = missing a sense, or not clear

C = no list of the senses included

D = very unclear

F = at least I could read your name and detect words on the paper

DC Meckler

April 2008

the arts the senses & the imagination