Times Educational Supplement Partner badge

Film Education - Resources, Training, Events

Skip to main content

Follow us on: Twitter, Facebook RSS
Email this page to a friend

The Poems

Directing verse 2: when I have fears

Now that you have attempted a director’s interpretation of a highly visual poem, consider how you might present the following sonnet onscreen, paying attention to the atmosphere of the poem.


  1. Present your ideas as six key shots of a storyboard and explain your decisions.
  2. Remember drawing is less important than conveying a sense of the image and the angle of the camera.

When I have fears that I may cease to be
    Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charactery,
    Hold like rich garners the full ripen'd grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
    Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
    Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
    That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
    Of unreflecting love;--then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.