Asawa, Diya: A Poetry Collection Inspired by Modernist Poets


The title of your project: 

A Poetry Collection Inspired by Modernist Poets


For my Personal Project, I created a collection of 9 poems inspired by the three Modernist poets, Marianne Moore, Amy Lowell, and Elizabeth Bishop. My goal was to learn about the literary features, themes, and impact of three modernist poets and improve my open-minded and communication IB learner skills through poetry. In order to create my project, I analysed several poems by the three Modernist poems and researched the background of the literary era—I also researched writing methods in order to be as creative as possible. For example, I went out for more walks outside in order to come up with ideas for poems, and I also used my memories and conversations with friends or family members to come up with other ideas. In fact, I created my poem, “Beneath the Road,” which is about a leaf submerged underneath the road, after an observation I’d made walking around my neighbourhood. After analysing and learning about the techniques used in nine of the poems, I created nine of my own poems in response by using various literary, structural, and thematic devices including metaphor, contrast, tactile imagery, and free verse.


From browsing through the poetry collections in bookstores to waking up in the middle of the night to scribble down new ideas, poetry has always been a constant source of inspiration and comfort for me. When I found out about the Personal Project, I knew I wanted my project to revolve around poetry. I learned, in my project, that the Modernist era aimed to break the rules of previous literary eras by removing the constraints of a fixed rhyme scheme and rhythm, and focussing  on honest, clear, and detailed imagery rather than formal and obscure language. Since I usually write poems based on my own thoughts and observations, exploring the work of famous poets allowed me to understand how their background, culture, and personality had affected their writing styles. The project ultimately helped me scrutinise my own approach to writing poetry and make changes in order to improve.


One of my successes was creating the product, and I put a lot of effort into writing my poems by using creative ideas and methods inspired by the Modernist poets. The product-building process was really rewarding—watching all of my general ideas merge to form a physical product was my favourite part of the Personal Project. One of my challenges during the Personal Project was writing the report, even though it was a really fulfilling experience. Writing the entire process of my project and reflecting on everything I had learned was challenging due to the short word count, but it taught me the importance of brevity in communication.

Advice for upcoming Grade 10s who are doing the project next year:

The Personal Project is, largely, an independent project. While this can sound really daunting at first—especially since most school projects outline exactly what you need to do—you can use this opportunity to create your own rules and measures for success! My biggest piece of advice is to create an achievable but challenging plan and really try your best to stick to the plan. Additionally, try not to spend hours working on the project over the weekends. Instead, set out 30-40 minutes every day of the week to work on the project.

Click here to see Diya’s final collection: Diya Personal Project Product