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Figurative Language and Imagery in Poetry : Similes, Metaphors, Personificat

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Kathleen Haan

on 11 December 2017

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Transcript of Figurative Language and Imagery in Poetry : Similes, Metaphors, Personificat

Figurative Language and Imagery In Poetry
What is figurative language ?
What is imagery?
Language that appeals to our five senses- sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell.
This type of descriptive writing helps the reader visualize the words better and experience them through their senses.
Creates an "image' in your mind
Language that helps to
a picture for the reader and create a word
It can not be taken
but helps writing be more creative and imaginative.
It involves a
of seemingly different things.
Types of
language include: similes,
personification, hyperbole etc..
How to Analyze Imagery in Poetry
Poetry thrives on imagery. Whether the poet is describing a setting, an object, or a person, imagery brings the poem alive and allows it to linger in the reader’s imagination. Imagery can also highlight the poem’s theme. A carefully chosen image, when analyzed, can unpack the poet’s intent. In order to determine how and why a particular image is used, it is important to read the poem closely and to analyze the various ways the image is used to create a consistent theme.

Read the poem. Take notes on the imagery that is used in the poem. Pay close attention to how the imagery is used and under what context it is being used.

Determine whether the imagery is consistent throughout the poem. For instance, does the poem use a lot of nature images? Does it use cityscape imagery? Or does the poem use contradictory images, such as the juxtaposition of industrial images with natural ones?

Analyze how the imagery is used in the poem and the effect it has overall. For instance, what effect does the consistent use of industrial images, such as factories, smokestacks, and so on, have on the poem? What mood or tone does it convey?

Analyze the poet’s use of language. Focus on the words or figures of speech the poet uses to describe the image. For instance, a spiral staircase in a poem can be described as the spiral of a seashell. In what way does this metaphor or simile heighten its meaning or context?

Analyze the ways in which the imagery enhances or highlights the poem’s theme. For instance, the juxtaposition of industrial and natural images may highlight the poet’s ideas about modern life. Show how these images lead to the thematic conclusion of the poem.

Imagery Poems

Poets create strong visual imagery by choosing their words very carefully. Imagery is the mental picture created in the reader’s head. A poet is like a surgeon with words…extremely careful and precise. (Hey…that’s a simile!)

Compare how the poem and the statements below convey similar information, but create very different visual images in your head.

Poem: Beyond Winter by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Over the winter glaciers
I see the summer glow.
And through the wild-piled snowdrift
The warm rosebuds below.

Statements: It see that it’s finally getting warm enough for the winter snow to melt. Roses are even starting to grow.

(Not only does the poem create a different visual image, but quite a different feeling and mood as well. Imagery and feeling go hand-in-hand.)

Here are some other Imagery Rich Teaching Poems:

I’m Glad the Sky is Painted Blue by Anonymous

I’m glad the sky is painted blue,
And the earth is painted green,
With such a lot of nice fresh air
All sandwiched in between.

The Juggler of Day by Emily Dickinson

Blazing in gold and quenching in purple,
Leaping like leopards to the sky,
Then at the feet of the old horizon
Laying her spotted face, to die;

Stopping as low as the otter’s window,
Touching the roof and tinting the barn,
Kissing her bonnet to the meadow–
And the juggler of day is gone!

Who Has Seen the Wind? by Christina Rossetti

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you;
But when the leaves hang trembling
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I;
But when the trees bow down their heads
The wind is passing by.

Summer Evening by Walter De La Mare

The sandy cat by the Farmer’s chair
Mews at his knee for dainty fare;
Old Rover in his moss-greened house
Mumbles a bone, and barks at a mouse
In the dewy fields the cattle lie
Chewing the cud ‘neath a fading sky
Dobbin at manger pulls his hay:
Gone is another summer’s day.

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