I've always enjoyed doing this particular creative writing lesson in class. It seems easy, but my students encounter some difficulties making idea seem human.
Personification- giving human qualities to inanimate objects, animals, and ideas.
Pick one human trait or value and personify it so that it has a gender,
distinct personality traits, etc.
beauty, joy, humor, sympathy, empathy, trust, forgiveness, humility, patience, courage strength, confidence, kindness, hatred, greed, anger, evil, depression, laziness,
Pleasure is wild and sweet. She likes purple flowers. She loves the sun and the wind and the night sky. She carries a silver bowl full of liquid moonlight. She has a cat named Midnight with stars on his paws.
Many people mistrust Pleasure, and even more misunderstand her. For a long time I could hardly be in the same room with her. I went to sleep early to avoid her. I thought she was a gossip and a flirt and she drank too much. In school we learned that she was dangerous. and I was sure that she would distract me from my work. I didn’t realize she could nurture me.
As I have changed, Pleasure has changed. I have learned to value her friendship.
From The Book of Qualities, by Ruth Gendler (1988)
~ Alicia Smolinski
Beauty has starlit eyes and lashes are gold wings . She dances in circles with butterflies and ribbons. Her airy dresses hide her fragile ankles and dust the ground beneath her, clearing a path for her perfect feet. She rarely wears shoes, and her paints her toenails light like the color of peaches. Beauty makes friends with those who fear her most and holds their trembling hands. She eats lavender and rose petals.
Beauty's story is not so pretty. Intertwined in her honeyed hair is a hidden crown of thorns. Some hate her before they greet her. People talk about her behind her back. The whole world despises her, yet all pursue her. She has the burden of looking radiant at all times--if she fails at this task her tarnished appearance will provoke sarcasm and scorn. She is not allowed to cry; she is not allowed to get angry. Moreover, she is not allowed to want: what could one so beautiful possibly desire?