When writing descriptive poetry it becomes increasingly necessary to review exactly what imagery is and its innate relevance to poetry as an art form.
Imagery Is Description
Have you ever been in a situation where an instructor mentioned the catch phrase, “Be as descriptive as possible?” In short, imagery can best be defined as descriptive language.
If you take that definition one step further and apply it to the human senses, then the definition becomes descriptive language that has the ability of appealing to the five senses. Although, that does not necessarily mean that imagery applies to all five senses collectively.
Most often used in poetry, imagery can be used in just about any form of writing. Whether fiction or nonfiction, imagery is what provides the color, or what a reader can see in his or her mind’s eye about a particular written work. Contemporary examples of imagery in action include stories in the newspaper, crime scene reports and of course, works of fiction.
Imagery is also used in songs, movies, television shows and everyday reports. It is the way in which the writer or author of a particular work conveys texture and vividness to the reader. It is also the way in which the writer shows the reader the intended image of the work, instead of telling them.
Imagery Surrounds You
If you are a fan of music, then imagery surrounds you in songs. Many people agree that songs are but poetry set to music.
If you consider this statement to be true, then it could be said that the verses in your favorite song (that may be stuck in your head) are a good place to start when you are looking for samples of imagery in everyday works. Whether you like hip-hop, pop, rock and roll, country or soul, music is as good a place as ever to find good samples of imagery.
Take a look at the following example and see if you can better understand its use of imagery:
On a starry winter night in Portugal
Where the ocean kissed the southern shore
There a dream I never thought would come to pass
Came and went like time spent through an hourglass
-Teena Marie, “Portuguese Love”
The sample above was taken from soul songstress of the 1980s, Teena Marie’s hit love song. Did you notice how descriptive the lyrics are? In this sample alone, the imagery is increasingly apparent to the reader. Even though this is a portion of the lyrics from a song, if you read it, you can almost feel the sand of the beach beneath your feet.
Here is another example of imagery in music:
She wears a long fur coat of mink
Even in the summertime
Everybody knows from the coy little wink
The girl's got a lot on her mind
She's got big thoughts, big dreams
And a big brown Mercedes sedan
What I think this girl, she really wants
Is to be in love with a man-Sheila E., “Glamorous Life”
In this illustration, the imagery gains momentum with each line. It starts out slow, yet always building momentum through its vivid description of the mystery girl in the “long fur coat of mink.”
Now consider a famous poem that contains beautiful imagery, "Daffodils" by William Wordsworth. As you read through the poem, he paints a wonderful picture of daffodils such that you can almost picture them in the breeze:
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way
Imagery in a Single Sentence
While poems and songs can paint a vivid picture since they are longer mediums, imagery can be found in just a single sentence as well. Consider the following descriptive sentences:
- He fumed and charged like an angry bull.
- He fell down like an old tree falling down in a storm.
- He felt like the flowers were waving him a hello.
- The eerie silence was shattered by her scream.
- He could hear his world crashing down when he heard the news about her.
- The F-16 swooped down like an eagle after its prey.
- The word spread like leaves in a storm.
- The lake was left shivering by the touch of morning wind.
- Her face blossomed when she caught a glance of him.
- He could never escape from the iron grip of desire.
- He could hear the footsteps of doom nearing.
- She was like a breath of fresh air infusing life back into him.
- The pot was a red as a tongue after eating a cherry flavored ring pop.
- Though I was on the sheer face of a mountain, the feeling of swinging through the air was euphoric, almost like flying without wings.
- Her blue eyes were as bright as the Sun, blue as the sky, but soft as silk.
- The music coursed through us, shaking our bodies as if it came from within us.
- The giant tree was ablaze with the orange, red, and yellow leaves that were beginning to make their descent to the ground.
Paint a Picture
If you ever find yourself wondering where you can find good imagery examples, you can turn on some music or pull out a book or magazine, and you will find many examples.
Do you have a good example to share? Add your example here.comments powered by
Examples of Imagery
By YourDictionaryWhen writing descriptive poetry it becomes increasingly necessary to review exactly what imagery is and its innate relevance to poetry as an art form.
Imagery in "Night" Essay
672 Words3 Pages
Imagery can be defined as the ability to form mental images of things or events. The Holocaust was the careless and brutal massacre of six million Jews by the Nazis, who were under the rule of Adolf Hitler, during World War II. In the book “Night” Elie Wiesel describes his harsh, devastating journey throughout the Holocaust by using imagery. During the novel “Night”, Elie vividly describes his experiences throughout the holocaust when they first arrive at Auschwitz and saw the fire, when Elie and his convoy arrive at Buna, and during the alert when a man tries to get an extra ration of soup. First off, a passage that really catches the reader’s eye by the use of imagery is when the Jews first arrive at the camp Auschwitz. The Jews are…show more content…
The reader can sense the strong odor of corpses and burning flesh. The reader can also see flames slowly arising in the distance along with skeleton like figures approaching the cattle cars in prison like uniforms. Imagery is very evident in that passage. Now comes the time when Elie and his convoy arrive at Buna. Another passage in which Elie uses imagery to make the novel come to life is when Elie and his convoy arrive at Buna, another camp. Elie and his convoy were being sent to Buna from Auschwitz. When they arrived at the camp the reader and Elie can see an almost deserted camp, except for a few wandering prisoners. Elie and the others were sent immediately to the showers where the head of the camp meet up with them. “He [is] a stocky man with big shoulders, the neck of a bull, thick lips, and curly hair. He [is] [giving] an impression of kindness” (47), Elie said. The reader can see a big stocky man with curly hair approaching all of the Jews. He has a slight smile on his face as he approaches the Jews who are all waiting by the showers. Imagery is very strong in that passage. Next comes the time during the alert when a man tries to get a extra ration of soup. Finally, one passage in which the reader can feel like they are at the camp because of imagery is when during the alert, a man is brave enough to try and get an extra ration of soup. Everyone in the camp was ordered to go to their barracks and stay