FridayFixes: Image, Imagination, Imagery

19 Nov

12:09pm, Friday, 19 November, 2010 – Atlanta

All the Senses

Imagery is one of the most important aspects of poetry because that is one of the main links between the poem and the reader. Whether the poem focuses on story, theme, or description [or any combination of the three], imagery, sensory imagery, is the bridge to the reader. Something many writers forget is that imagery includes all the senses, not just the visual. And, while visual imagery is strong because people are image oriented, the sense of smell is powerful because it is the one sense routed through the memory area of the brain. Tactile imagery attracts all those people who have to keep their hands in their pockets in a museum [I’m one – I learn and make my bridges through touch]. And we are bombarded by sound everywhere. If you employ imagery your reader can step into the poem. Check Keats’ poem “The Eve of St. Agnes,” if you want to read a master of sensory imagery.

We will try several exercises which may, or may not, result in poems. Don’t worry if all you end up with is a list of images. They become a resource pool for you.

Smell is a potent wizard that transports us across thousands of miles and all the years we have lived.” Helen Keller

Smell is the most evocative of the senses. Of all our senses it is the one which will most immediately transport us to another place and time, because it routes through our memory. There are odours that spark passion and sensuousness and others that repel us physically. Our culture produces thousands of products to alter a person’s scent or that of her surroundings. We use scent to mask and manipulate. Animals use scent to mark their territories.

Smell, scent, odour, fragrance, bouquet …what other words do you associate with smell?

Describe smells. On the left side of the page, list significant smells; and on the right side, jot down what you associate with these smells. Pick two or three and expand into a vignette.

Describe two or three places using only your sense of smell. Don’t mention the places.

Describe a person using only your sense of smell. Don’t mention the person.

Describe your most vivid memory evoked by a smell.

Enjoy focusing on smelling things this weekend. Smell even things you know the scent of, but now focus on the smell. What does this thing smell like? How do you put the smell into words that another person can smell?


Posted by on 19/11/2010 in poetry, writing


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 responses to “FridayFixes: Image, Imagination, Imagery

  1. booguloo

    22/11/2010 at 7:50 am

    The grinder whines the pipes sing
    The beast gurgles brown stew
    Tickets whirl the bell does ding
    The coffee here you need to chew

    Cinnamon arrives before the pie
    The apple strapped to its heel
    Flaky crust next a tear to my eye
    How the scents of time make you feel Michael Yost

    • mroby

      22/11/2010 at 8:21 am

      I’m loving the sound imagery. There is something about the word “whine”. Makes me hear the sound. “Gurgle as well. Although, the scent you chose makes me want a slice of that pie with my morning coffee. Nice.
      Get ready for taste today!

  2. booguloo

    22/11/2010 at 9:20 am

    My scales favorite!


Join the discussion and feel free to critique, or suggest an idea for any poem I post.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: