Hill worms of England and Wales

  • Sophia Kaftal

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis (MFA)


I believe part of the drive in my writing is an impulse to define poetry. The desire to fully satisfy this curiosity is something I find endlessly interesting, and amusing. In conclusion, I have found
that a creative approach is the only authentic response. Therefore, my thesis has come to represent a personal exploration towards this interest. I have used my writing to flesh out what
this might mean and always had the ambition these poems would add further mystery to the question. This is the underlying ethos of my work. Here, I attempt to sometimes communicate
feeling more than sense, sensation over rational thought – all things I find poetry satisfies in myself. This has encouraged me to use sound and sense in experimental ways, as well as further
investigate the spaces created by the imagination in the normal workaday reality of the world. As a result, I discovered a surreal approach comes very naturally to me. However, I strive to create a
balance as well as a unique take towards this style. I think poetry should be fun to read, too. Quiet and loud. Abstract and grounded. And I assert that prose poems can be just as poetical as
more recognisable forms. Just like the mythical hill worms talked about in ancient folklore, I think poetry should be intangible and mysterious. Funny and profound. This also ties into other
themes which encourage my writing: childhood, imagination, love, art, animals, hobbies, our environment, and perhaps an overarching theme of how our individuality interacts within these –
what I believe to be – spiritual spheres. And whether individuality as well as the imagination, like poetry, is something that cannot be specified, and is perhaps, moreover, a complex, evolving idea
involving our geography and our shared and personal histories.
Date of Award13 Jun 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of St Andrews
SupervisorDon Paterson (Supervisor)


  • Imagination
  • Humour
  • Irreverence
  • Ars Poetica
  • Exploration
  • Creativity
  • Ekphrasis
  • Worms
  • Childhood
  • Grief
  • Experimental
  • Ecology
  • Rhythm
  • Surreal
  • Wit
  • Environmental
  • Nonhuman
  • Imagery
  • Mysterious
  • Poetics
  • Narrative
  • Epistolary
  • Letters
  • Aural
  • Anxiety
  • Capitalism
  • Voice
  • Glitch
  • Collage
  • Flowers
  • Trees
  • Horses
  • Music
  • Unpredictable
  • Prose poetry
  • Poetry

Access Status

  • Full text open

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