Blog on poetic- form Haiku-
Imagery, Imagination, Color And Inspiration
Elements of a poem that invoke any of the five senses to create a set of mental images. Specifically, using vivid or figurative language to represent ideas, objects, or actions. Poems that use rich imagery include T.S. Eliot’s “Preludes,” Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ode to the West Wind,” Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy,” and Mary Oliver’s “At Black River.”
Imagery is the name given to the elements in a poem that spark off the senses. Despite "image" being a synonym for "picture", images need not be only visual; any of the five senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell) can respond to what a poet writes. Examples of non-visual imagery can be found in Ken Smith's 'In Praise of Vodka', where he describes the drink as having "the taste of air, of wind on fields, / the wind through the long wet forest", and James Berry's 'Seashell', which puts the "ocean sighs" right in a listener's ear.
A poet could simply state, say, "I see a tree", but it is possible to conjure up much more specific images using techniques such as simile ("a tree like a spiky rocket"), metaphor ("a green cloud riding a pole") or synechdoche ("bare, black branches") - each of these suggests a different kind of tree. Techniques, such as these, that can be used to create powerful images are called figurative language, and can also include onomatopoeia, metonymy and personification.
One of the great pleasures of poetry is discovering a particularly powerful image; the Imagists of the early 20th century felt it was the most important aspect, so were devoted to finding strong images and presenting them in the clearest language possible. Of course, not every poem is an Imagist poem, but making images is something that nearly every poem in the Archive does.
An interesting contrast in imagery can be found by comparing Alison Croggon's 'The Elwood Organic Fruit and Vegetable Shop' with Allen Ginsberg's 'A Supermarket in California'; although both poets seem to like the shops they write about, Ginsberg's shop is full of hard, bright things, corralled into aisles, featuring neon, tins and freezers, while the organic shop is full of images of soft, natural things rubbing against one another in sunlight. Without it being said explicitly, the imagery makes it clear that the supermarket is big, boxy, and tidy, unlike the cosy Elwood's. This is partly done with the visual images that are drawn, and in part with Croggon's images that mix the senses (this is called synaesthesia), such as the strawberries with their "klaxons of sweetness" or the gardens with "well-groomed scents", having the way the imagery is made correspond with what the imagery shows.
Fleur Adcock's poem, 'Leaving the Tate', uses imagery of picture-making to build up the overlap between art and sight at the centre of the poem.
Examples of Imagery in Poetry
Imagery is one of the literary devices that engage the human senses; sight, hearing, taste, and touch. Imagery is as important as metaphor and simile and can be written without using any figurative language at all. It represents object, action, and idea which appeal our senses. Sometimes it becomes more complex than just a picture. There are five main types of imagery, each related to one of the human senses:
Visual imagery (sight)
Auditory Imagery (hearing)
Olfactory imagery (smell)
Gustatory imagery (taste)
Tactile imagery ( touch)
A writer can use single or multiple imageries in his writings. Imagery can be literal. They also allow the readers to directly sympathize with the character and narrator. Through imagery, the reader imagines a similar sensory experience. It helps to build compelling poetry, convincing narratives, clear plays, well-designed film sets, and heart touching descriptive songs. It involves imagination. Hence, writing without imagery would be dull and dry, and writing with imagery can be gripping and vibrant. The necessary sensory detail can allow the reader to understand the character and minute details of writing which a writer wants to communicate. Imagery can be symbolic, which deepens the impact of the text. For more explanation refer to this article: //literarydevices.net/figurative-language/. Here are a few examples of imagery in a poetry:
After Apple picking- Robert Frost
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
These lines have powerful imagery. We can feel the swaying ladder, see the bending boughs and hear the rumbling sound of apples going in the cellar bin. These lines are literal. Every word means what it typically means. The entire poem is imagery that conveys deep feelings of contemplation and subtle remorse for things left undone to the reader.
Romeo and Juliet –W. Shakespeare
O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
Her beauty hangs upon the cheek of night,
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop’s ear
Here Romeo is comparing the beauty of Juliet. He says that she looks more radiant than brightly lit torches in the hall. Further, he says that her face glows like a precious bright jewel against the dark skin of an African in the night. Here he uses the contrasting images of light and dark to portray her beauty. The imagery also involves the use of figurative language; he uses the simile to enhance the imagery.
To Autumn – John Keats
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep
To Autumn is rich in imagery, evoking the perception of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. The above lines are primarily visual imagery. The tactile imagery (touch) is seen in the warmth of the day, the clammy cells, the soft lifted hair.
The Image, The Inner Reaches Of The Mind
sandy land, windswept
oasis, wet evergreen
silent cat leapt
Robert J. Lindley, 6-29-2021
On A Glowing Bright Summer Day
bright morn, wooden fence
young colt, wide open meadow
boy, red bicycle
Robert J. Lindley, 6-26-2021
Glimmering, Shimmering And Flaming Sweet
her eyes, shining pools
her kissing lips luscious red
desert at high noon
Robert J. Lindley, 6-24-2021
Beneath Expanse, Glorious Earthen Skies
cold pavement, late night
moonlit trees, Heavenly glows
old owl, frighten mouse
Robert J. Lindley, 6-23-2021
The Season And The Old Farm
old garden, bare ground
frost on the fallen mailbox
breakfast, eggs, bacon
Robert J. Lindley, 6-21-2021
Dawn, A New Day And A Wonderful Start
table, broken spoon
breakfast on a sunny morn
coffee, hot and black
Robert J. Lindley, 6-16-2021
white stone, sad morning
fresh mowed grass twixt the rows
bright sun, soft cool breeze
Robert J. Lindley, 6-10-2021
The Frozen Ground
crunch, crunch, icy glaze
trees, limbs weighted to the ground
crisp morn, soft new gloves
Robert J. Lindley, 6-07-2021
The Ancient Forest
dark, deep canopy
autumn colors vibrant reds
sunken stone markers
Robert J. Lindley, 6-04-2021
The Cool Clear Stream
rushing waters, smooth stones
rocky walls, bright meadow's glow
sky, reflection- hope
Robert J. Lindley, 6-01-2021