Lesson: Focus: The Poet’s Craft–imagery and description
The Fabulous Realities of the World
Skill Focus: Using Imagery
- Creating Images or series of images that help the reader experience what you experienced. Go for the total effect of your words. Put them in the scene. How to do this:
- Appeal to the senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and more.
Create strong images with specific language. For example, my friend wobbled down the street is more vivid than using the verb ran. What other strong verbs could be used in that sentence to create a picture?
- Imagery a definition and discussion
Shrinking For Details
- Making your images amazing! Which images are better? Word guessing exercise: Words as Paint reading poems to find sensory details
- Experiment with imagery:
- list some strong, vivid verbs that create an image. Look up them up in a thesaurus and see what other verbs you can add to your Poet’s Wordbank list.
- Find more precise adjectives using color words. What other words could be used in place of blue, for example. Look in your thesaurus for color word options. Add them to your Poet’s Wordbank list.
- Check a thesaurus for synonyms for: mad, silly, glowing, rapid, pleasant. Add the best words to your Poet’s Wordbank.
Example poems using imagery
- Other poems with strong imagery: imagery_poem_set
- “Swift Things Are Beautiful,” Elizabeth Cotsworth
- “Silver,” Walter De La Mer
- “The Red Wheelbarrow,” William Carlos Williams
- “Pot Roast,” Mark Strand
- “The Fish,” Elizabeth Bishop
- “Passageways,” by Antonio Machado
- “Foul Shot,” by Edwin A. Hoey. Notice the use of verbs!
- “Pear Tree,” Hilda Doolittle (H.D.)
- “Look,” by Rolf Jacobsen
- List poems: with the poems: Things That Go Away & Come Back Again, I Hear America Singing, & A History of Pets
Adding On to Your Skill: Verb Choices and Concrete Language
Now You Try:
- “Swift Things Are Beautiful,” Use this poem as a starter for a poem of your own. Ideas are listed after the poem copy.
- Poetry from Portraits. Directions.
- View From a Window, poem directions.
- “In a Station of the Metro,” Ezra Pound.
- List poem: poems from the Japanese Pillow Book
- From Love That Dog & Modeled after William Carlos Williams’ “The Red Wheelbarrow” with a graphic organizer to help you get going.
- Poem based on a color, following the example of Walter De La Mer’s “Silver.” What does a color you have chosen make you feel, what is it like?
- “Snake,” a Theodore Roethke poem with sensory imagery that you can model your poem after.
- Write a list poem.
Student example: “Broken Moonlight”
Lesson: Other Poetry Forms: Poetry about Art, Place
Colors show mood: Live Science article
Writing about art: Example poems:
- “Archaic Torso of Apollo, Rilke.
- “Cutting the Sun,” Chitra Devikaruni.
- “Recalling a Sung Dynasty Landscape,” Jane Hirschfield.
- “The Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest,” by Ryszard Krynicki translated from the Polish by Alissa Valles.
- Art and poetry Paintings and poems written about them
- Poems of Address
Writing in response to a painting or photo:
- View paintings and write about them: using painting to write poem
- Using a painting to develop ideas for a poem.
- Poems of Address examples and suggestions
Word choice: Your job is to find the best words for each line of the poem. Poets rarely settle for the first words they put down. Use a thesaurus sometimes to find the best word. Try different words, listening for the way they change the poem’s effect. Sometimes you need to let the poem sit for a bit and then come back to it to find the right word. Don’t settle for a good word when a bit more work and thought can get you the just right word that makes the scene come alive. This might take time, but it lets you speak from your heart about your subject.
- Sensory Imagery in Poetry Checklist
- Six room poem graphic organizer (from Georgia Heard)
Ideas to get you going:
Moonrise in New Zealand, a video of an amazing full moon rising over the landscape.
Lesson: The Poet’s Craft–Sound & Poetic Devices
Sound as an important feature in poetry:
- Sound awareness: “Night Songs,” Molly Jordan
- “The Listener,” Walter De La Mare and another version and one more
- “Wind,” by Ted Hughes
- “Swift Things Are Beautiful,” Elizabeth Cotsworth
- “Night Songs,” Molly Jordan
- “Pleasant Sounds,” John Clare
Sound as a Major Emotional Driver an NPR audio exploration of how sound affects us
- Sound and Verbs, includes poems: “Hurricane,” “Poem to Mud,” “Wind Song,” “Go Wind”
- Rain Drops, a student poem
- Alonzo King’s New Ballet Takes Its Soundtrack From the Animal Kingdom
Definitions of Poetic Devices Related to Emphasizing Sound:
Onomatopoeia: Onomatopoeia definition with examples from:
Poems related to music:
- Music and Poetry
- “Debussy,” by Fedrico Garcia Lorca
- “Where Everything Is Music,” Rumi
- Music for poems: ” Ride of the Valkyries,” “Unfinished Symphony,” “Lark Ascending ,” “Moonlight Sonata“
Writing in response to music:
Music affects mood, research shows.
- Debussy a poem by Rilke in response to Debussy’s music, Afternoon of the Faun, a ballet based on the poem by French poet, Stephane Mallarme
- a poem inspired by the Cure
- Langston Hughes, “The Weary Blues”
Now You Try: Chose from the ideas below and write a poem where you play with and focus on an awareness of sound elements in a poem.