LESSON 44 – HOW TO CREATE AN IMAGE

One of the most common problems I see, when viewing poems by students or sent in to www.poetlaykatz.com is a lack of imagery.  I know I’ve gone down this road before but, it’s worth traveling down again.

Imagery, that poetic device that engages us, ensnares us, embraces us, enlightens us, is the most important and compelling component of a poem.  Without imagery we have something less than poetry or, at least, something different than poetry.

I can tell you that “I love you” in a poem, not by saying it but by creating that love, through imagery.

You warm me like sunshine

breaking through the clouds

on a winter day      you fill

me like summer rains fill

the thirsty ponds    you take me

to the stars and far beyond    if you’re

not breathing out the air is far

too thin for me

to be breathing in.   – Susan A. Katz (Al rights reserved)

Imagery gives the poem a universal quality.  I can’t know how deep, how passionate, how all encompassing your love is unless you give me a way to be part of it.  Imagery, touching on those things we all know and see and hear and taste and touch and, yes, even smell, brings us into your poem in a personal way.  We’ve all felt the warmth of the sun on a cold, cloudy day.  We’ve all watched a winter drained pond or stream or river, fill up after spring rains.  We’ve dreamt ourselves, and those we love, beyond the stars and understand the concept that it is love, that fills not only our hearts, but our lungs, our very souls and without it, we would gasp for air.

So, today’s lesson is, practice using imagery.  Go over some of your old poems and rewrite them by taking what you told us, and turning those lines, those messages, into relatable, recognizable imagery.

Here are some places to start:

I love you like…

I need you like the…

Your touch turns me…

The passion in your eyes is like…

Without you I am…

Hold me till together we see…

You are my….

Love is…

Let me love you like the…

Be with me always and we will…

Write on…

~Susan

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