Words and Images in Poetry

Essay by daydreamer4evrCollege, UndergraduateA+, February 2005

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Words are the building blocks of poetry. Poetry uses words with the utmost economy. They are spoken and writing signifiers of thought, objects and actions. Words create rhythm, rhyme, meter and form, in poetry. Defining the poems speaker, characters, setting and the situation, these words carry its ideas and emotions throughout the poem. Because of this, poets search for perfect, indispensable words, words that convey the many complex meaning, overtones and emotions that all poems require. Poets constantly make conscious and subconscious decisions about diction, because they always attempt to use words that are just right and unique.

Images are memories or mental pictures of sights, sounds, tastes, smells, sensations of touch, and motions. Through the controlled stimulation produced by the writer's words, one can re-create the work in their own way. Therefore imagery is one of the strongest modes of literary expression. It provides a channel to ones imagination, and through this writers are able to bring their works directly to ones mind and consciousness.

However, images do much more than illicit impressions. They give people new ways of seeing the world, and also strengthen their old ways of seeing it. Images also form a link with the reader that is clear and verifiable by observation. As one form mental images and impressions through a writer's image, the reader responds with appropriate attitudes and feelings.