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Sensory Imagery

definition, characteristics, examples

Sandy Wood Bairfield

on 4 November 2016

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Transcript of Sensory Imagery

Sensory Imagery
What smaller word do you see in the word IMAGERY?
Think about the words:
Sensory Imagery
What does SENSORY mean?
Refers to your 5 SENSES
Writing that creates a set of mental pictures or images that recalls your 5 senses. Writing using all 5 senses to bring the story to life.
Definition of Sensory Imagery:
"Dean Walter Mathis"
Cracking jokes that bring laughter, even when I am down
Beautiful gardens, tomatoes, red and juicy, peaches fuzzy and wonderful
Spends holiday time with family, laughing, hugging, and eating
Supportive, caring, adoring
Answering my questions about life, the world, and God
Shopping, movies, driving places he doesn't even want to go just to say he loves me
-Lindsey Mathis
Sensory Imagery in Poetry:
Rainforest Shower
By S. Wood

Sticky humidity frizzes my hair
Suffocating heat numbs my mind
salty sweat coats my face and tongue.
A single ray of sunlight breaks through
the canopy landing
on a leaping red-eyed tree frog

Rumble, crash!
Clouds crack to life
a great deluge floods the festive forest
fresh, clean rain splashes onto my skin
The air is cool for one brief second.
One moment, a raging torrent
Then next, trickling water
The last few rain drops have fallen
Wet, muddy, riddled with bug bites
I trudge home.
Sensory Imagery in Poetry:
with Sensory Imagery
Thinking Outside the Box
Suppose you had a friend who was blind at birth. Using your other 4 senses, describe the sun and what it is like to your friend. Use creative word choice. Attempt to use figurative language also.
One approach:
The sun is an sphere, like a basketball, but it is enormous and in the sky. It feels scorching hot like Tabasco sauce and fresh jalapenos on a burrito. Although it is millions of miles away, its heat can burn your skin to a crisp like a burnt marshmallow tastes. If the sun had a sound, it would blare like a brass band on the 4th of July – happy, loud, and full of energy.
Now try the same activity with music, leaving out the sense of hearing.
"The kitchen was littered with appalling mounds of raw food: a slimy rock cod with bulging fish eyes that pleaded not to be thrown into a pan of hot oil...At the end of the meal, my father belched loudly, thanking my mother for her fine cooking."

-from "Fish Cheeks" by Amy Tan
Sensory Imagery in Short Story:
Smell the hot oil
See the fish eyes
Hear the belch
Smell the Rain
See the forest
Hear the rumble
Feel the mud
Taste sweat
Hear the jokes
See the tomatoes
Feel the hugs
Taste the food
Hear the answers
Imagery uses the five senses
to paint a picture in your mind.

Final Thoughts...
A good writer uses words that make the reader mentally see, hear, touch, smell, and taste as the person reads.
How to Use Sensory Imagery to Describe a Setting:
What words and phrases describe what you can TOUCH at this place?
What words and phrases describe SOUNDS in this place?
What words and phrases describe what you SEE in this place?
What words and phrases describe what you TASTE at this place?
What words and phrases describe what you SMELL in this place?
Words that tell SIGHT
Examples: decaying, frail, shy, hysterical,
healthy, broken, fresh, plump, brighter than the sun
what would you see?
what would it look like?
Words that tell SOUND
what would you hear?
what would it sound like?
Examples: shouts, thuds, whistles, clattering, deafening roar
Words that tell TASTE
what would you taste?
what would it taste like?
Examples: sweet, burnt, buttery, salty, warm, crisp, tangy
Words that tell SMELL
what do you smell?
what does it smell like?
Examples: musty, fresh, spicy, piney, like sweaty armpits
Words that tell TOUCH/FEELING
what does it feel like?
how does it feel?
Examples: sharp, smooth, ticklish, warm, fuzzy, rougher than sandpaper
"He leaped upon the rail and balanced himself there, to get greater elevation; his pipe, striking a rope, was knocked from his mouth. He lunged for it; a short, hoarse cry came from his lips as he realized he had reached too far and had lost his balance. The cry was pinched off short as the blood-warm waters of the Caribbean Sea closed over his head.
"He struggled up to the surface and tried to cry out, but the wash from the speeding yacht slapped him in the face and the salt water in his open mouth made him gag"
-from The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell
How many examples of S.I. can you find?
“Walls of thick vegetation rose up on all sides and arched overhead in a lacy canopy that filtered the light to a soft shade. It had just rained; the air was hot and steamy. I felt enclosed in a semitropical terrarium, sealed off from a world that suddenly seemed a thousand miles away.”
- From Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
Full transcript