What do you think of when you hear the word "image"? A picture, perhaps? Or maybe a reflection, as when you see your image in the mirror?
In poetry, imagery is not only language that helps to create a picture in your mind but language that appeals to any of the five senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. Poets use imagery because they don't just want to tell you about something--they want to help you actually experience it as they have.
Here is a poem about Easter by Celia Thaxter. What words help you to see, smell, and hear Easter morning? To what object are the Easter lilies compared?
"On Easter Day"
Easter lilies! Can you hear
What they whisper, low and clear?
In dewy fragrance they unfold
Their splendor sweet, their snow and gold.
Every beauty-breathing bell
News of heaven has to tell.
Listen to their mystic voice,
Hear, oh mortal, and rejoice!
Hark, their soft and heavenly chime!
Christ is risen for all time!
Now let's back up a little. Do you see any alliteration, assonance, or consonance? If so, what words or images seem to be emphasized by the repetition?
Also, did you notice this poem is written in couplets?
Here's another poem with plenty of imagery. What words help you to see, hear, and feel the month of April? Is there any alliteration, assonance or consonance in this poem?
"April" - Sara Teasdale
The roofs are shining from the rain.
The sparrows twitter as they fly,
And with a windy April grace
The little clouds go by.
Yet the back-yards are bare and brown
With only one unchanging tree--
I could not be so sure of Spring
Save that it sings in me.