Responding to ‘The Screaming Staircase’ by Jonathan Stroud

In English we did a unit on poetry. At the end of each unit we like to combine the books we are reading with the assessments we did on that unit. This time we decided to write a ‘found poem’. Found poems are a specific type of poetry. To create one you take words and sentences from other texts making them sound and look like poetry. You can do this by leaving out certain words, changing the length of the sentences, etc.

There are many people who have done this and there are also many reasons why they would do thisimgres. One of the reasons why someone would write a found poem is that this might make the text that they are reading easier to comprehend. Also it would make them think more deeply about the text. Some people also might like making serious texts e.g. a legal text more fun and interesting. 

So as at the moment I am reading a book called ‘The Screaming Staircase’ written by Jonathan Stroud. I decided to try to make a found poem of my own.

This is what it turned out to be:

The weight of substance pooling in the ceiling

Drips breaking loose in a second place

The rate of falling getting faster

I flicked my flashlight


I saw the floor stain spattered out

Broken fingers of blood reaching in our direction

Quick, follow me

We approached the door

It was closed.

It is pretty obvious that this book is a horror story. However it also has a lot of adventure and mystery in it. Jonathan Stroud used many literary techniques in his book. You could easily imagine what was happening which is why I think that Rick Riordan’s comment (you’ll want to keep the lights on) is so truthful. The story really gripped me and I didn’t want to stop reading. One of the techniques he used was personification. He did this a lot which again made it a lot easier to visualize. Proof of the fact that he used personification multiple times in his book is that even just in the one scene that I selected he used this technique; ‘Broken fingers of blood reaching in our direction’. This was used in a very effective way as it makes it more threatening than if he would have just said ‘the blood was coming towards us’. Also the mood he created by saying this was rather scary and made you anxious to know what was going to happen next. Another technique that I used in my poem was sentence length and punctuation. The very last line was the only one where I put a full stop. I did this to make it sound more dramatic and so that it has a bigger effect on the reader. Also the exclamation mark after blood (also in caps lock) made it more powerful.

Overall, I think my text shows the theme of the book effectively. However it was hard to create a poem with just limited vocabulary. I will admit that I change a few words so that the sentences will make sense, but I did try to stick with the actually text from the book.

“River Readers.” River Readers. N.p., 26 Dec. 2013. Web. 29 Jan. 2015.

4 Comments on Responding to ‘The Screaming Staircase’ by Jonathan Stroud

  1. Aisling
    February 2, 2015 at 2:11 am (4 years ago)

    I like the Personification used in this found poem,I really understood and took it that the theme is horror, and I think you showed that well in your found poem. 🙂

  2. Emily⊿
    February 2, 2015 at 2:19 am (4 years ago)

    I like how you have the verse “BLOOD!” in capital letters and emphasize it. Your poem is really fun to read and it can be read as a story too! I don’t read horror stories, but this book seems an interesting book to read 🙂

  3. 19aoyamaa
    February 2, 2015 at 2:22 am (4 years ago)

    I think how you wrote your found poem like mini summary(?) of an important scene was pretty interesting and a good way to allow people to understand the story and also enjoy the poem itself.

  4. 19suzukiz
    February 2, 2015 at 9:01 am (4 years ago)

    Your poem was interesting as it really portrayed the theme of your book accurately. I have not read the book prior to this comment, and so your poem was persuasive in getting me interested, as I do enjoy reading horror stories. Everything was pretty clear and I liked the format of your poem, especially the isolation of the word “BLOOD”.


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