Writing Poetry: Abstract vs Concrete Imagery and Specificity - Page 3


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Thread: Writing Poetry: Abstract vs Concrete Imagery and Specificity

  1. #21
    Something like 'Wet footprints of sparrows on the veranda' is a concrete image, but it leads one on. You know it is raining, that it is quiet enough that the birds were visiting recently, the fact that there is a veranda implies a dwelling, in a certain sort of place. It seems to me that the concrete and abstract don't really separate in this context.
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  2. #22
    It seems to me finding a dictionary of concrete nouns seems illusive. But the poetry websites that let you search for words can generate concrete nouns in many cases. It seems a roundabout method. But it gets the job done. You get a list of nouns. You decide which is concrete. Then work with that. This seems like a dictionary excercise. Write a word with the dictionary open. I wanted to share this if it makes sense. It may be good or bad advice, I dont know if it is a tip. That's why nouns can be searched and found. I have yet to find a noun generator, that gives me good results. Poets are more precise in finding the right words. Concrete nouns fit that philosophy in mind.
    Last edited by Theglasshouse; August 17th, 2019 at 04:27 AM.
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  3. #23
    A general rule of thumb about how to distinguish concrete nouns from abstract nouns is that the concrete tend to be Germanic and the abstract tend to be Latinate. The reason is that German, at the time of English diversion was still a unsophisticated, tribal language, relatively primitive. Words were close to their onomatopoetic roots, meaning, the words tended to sound like what they represented. Latin was a much more sophisticated language at the time of English influence. Latin was the language of world commerce. It had already evolved from it's tribal form to encompass the needs of a broad and diverse empire. This was done largely by adding abstract prefixes and suffixes to root words to expand the potential of each root word and thus cover a wide range of concepts. German eventually became more sophisticated after English diversion, but not in the same way as Latin. In modern German, complex concepts tend to be expressed by combining nouns in long, compound words that become increasingly specific, as opposed to the Latin system that makes words more abstract with prefixes and suffixes. Interestingly, this makes modern German a better language to discuss complex ideas than romance languages because of its high degree of specificity.

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