Imagery involves one or more of your five senses (hearing, taste, touch, smell, sight). An author uses a word or phrase to stimulate your memory of those senses. These memories can be positive or negative which will contribute to the mood of your poem (We'll get to that later!). Be careful what you write about!


Use the chart below to put the word or phrase from the following poem under the heading of the sense to which it appealed.




The Worker

Richard W. Thomas


My father lies black and hushed

Beneath white hospital sheets

He collapsed at work

His iron left him

Slow and quiet he sank


Meeting the wet concrete floor on his way

The wheels were still turning--they couldn't stop

Red and yellow lights flashing

Gloved hands twisting knobs--they couldn't stop

And as they carried him out

The whirring and buzzing and humming machines

Applauded him

Lapping up his dripping iron

They couldn't stop



Imagery is the use of vivid description, usually rich in sensory words, tocreate pictures, or images, in the reader's mind.


Figurative language is the language that uses imagery and such figures of speech as similes, metaphors, and personification.

Creating poetry requires the use of imagery. Think of some imagery words to describe some part of nature:

sea, a brook, clouds, a tree, a river, an animal, etc. List the words in a table such as the following:




Now, create a poem about what you described. Use imagery (some of the words you have listed) to describe the aspect of nature that you have chosen.



Lyrical Lessons