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  1. Imagery (part 7 of 7)

    Reading and writing exercises to improve your imagery

    These exercises are so you can learn by doing, which is where most of the real learning happens. Some are so standard as to be attributable to no one, some are mine, others are pulled from a variety of sources.


    Consider the forms of imagery in the following poems: Hardy’s “To A Darkling Thrush,” Frost’s “After Apple Picking,” Stephen Dunn’s “Happiness,” Paul Eluard’s “Blazon,” Moore’s “The ...
  2. Imagery (part 6)

    Imagery in context

    Now that you have an idea of the many ways that imagery can be used in poetry, the next question is: how to use it well? What general principles can be used to figure out if an image will work in a poem and help the poem communicate?

    It is important to use imagery to serve a coherent whole, and to try to keep the whole poem in mind when creating your images or when choosing details from life to put onto the page. This can be done in revision as well ...
  3. Imagery (part 5)

    4. Conceptual imagery

    Often conceptual imagery manifests itself in metaphor, the extension of metaphor, or a moment of sensory perception in a phrase or sentence presenting an idea rather than a thing.
    Sonnet 116 – William Shakespeare

    Let me not to the marriage of true minds
    Admit impediments. Love is not love
    Which alters when it alteration finds,
    Or bends with the remover to remove:
    O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
    That looks
  4. Imagery (part 4)

    3. Kinetic imagery

    Sound effects can create a sense of motion, but this isn’t precisely what I mean by kinetic imagery. Kinetic imagery is another application of sensual imagery that’s worth talking about because it rarely gets named or discussed, but can be incredibly important to a poem. Kinetic imagery is the creation of motion through an energetic and precise use of verbs, and the use of particular verbs to further an image. To investigate kinetic imagery, we’ll look more closely ...
  5. Imagery (part 3)

    2. Intuitive imagery

    Intuitive imagery takes advantage of and often mimics the way our brains can hold many things together at once, or bounce around between different memories and ideas.
    Scarecrow on fire – Dean Young

    We all think about suddenly disappearing.
    The train tracks lead there, into the woods.
    Even in the financial district: wooden doors
    in alleyways. First I want to put something small
    into your hand, a button or river
  6. Imagery (part 2)

    1. Sensual imagery

    When most people talk about imagery they mean sensual imagery, so we’re going to discuss it first. Sensual imagery is language whose main function is to appeal to the senses, thus the name. Sensual imagery often appears as a passage of description, or a moment of a story told in detail. Sensual imagery is always concrete – based in real things. Sensual imagery doesn’t always depict the actual experience of the poet, but it is often based on experience in some way. ...

    Updated August 31st, 2012 at 04:09 PM by Isis

  7. Imagery: Concrete and Purposeful

    I wrote this guide for another forum for young writers (mostly teens and twentysomethings), but it got fairly detailed - I think it will be helpful for any writer approaching poetry or poetic prose with a desire to learn something. This guide covers what imagery is, what forms it can take, a plethora of ways that you can use imagery in your poetry, and exercises for improving your imagery. I’m always looking to update and improve my guides, so if you have questions, comments, arguments, additions, ...

    Updated August 31st, 2012 at 04:08 PM by Isis

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