‘Imagery’ is used to enrich poetry or prose. It conveys world picture. Through this article, users will be able to read types of imagery as well as its 11 examples in literature.
- 1 Definition
- 2 Types of Imagery:
- 3 Common Examples of Imagery
- 4 Use of imagery in Literature:
- 5 Use of Imagery in Poetry:
- 5.1 Faerie Queene (by Edmund Spencer)
- 5.2 Daffodils (by Wordsworth)
- 5.3 “Ode on a Grecian Urn” (by John Keats)
- 5.4 “Stopping by words on a Snowy evening” (by Robert Frost)
- 5.5 “The Shell” (by James Stephens)
- 5.6 “Baby Face” (by Carl Sandburg)
- 5.7 “The Loon” (by Lew Sarett)
- 5.8 “Who has seen the wind” (by Christiana Rosetti)
- 5.9 “The most Dangerous Game” (by Richard Connel)
- 5.10 “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (By Beatles)
- 5.11 “Catching Fire” (by Suzanne Collins)
- 5.12 “The Great Gatsby” (by F. Scott Fitzgerlad)
- 6 Why Writers use imagery:
‘Imagery’ is used to enrich poetry or prose. It conveys world pictures. Imagery evokes an imaginative emotional response, as well as providing a vivid, specific description compare. It is construction of details used to create mental images in the mind of reader through visual sense as well as the sense of touch, smell, taste or sound. In other words, we can say that imagery is the representation of sense experience through language.
Types of Imagery:
- Vision / sight
- Auditory / Hearing
- Olfactory / Smell
- Gustatory / Taste
- Tactile / Touch
Common Examples of Imagery
- She is tall girl with long brown hair. (vision)
- The small bird flapped its wings again and again but could not fly (vision)
- Melodious sounds of birds (hearing)
- Wet grass (touch)
- Freshness of wind (smell)
- Fragrance of flower (smell)
- Blue sky (sight)
- Softness of flowers (touch)
- Salty pop-corns (taste)
- Hard iron bench (touch)
Use of imagery in Literature:
Poets/writers use imagery to generate a vibrant and graphic presentation of a scene that appeals to as many of the reader sense as possible. It helps readers imagination to envision the character and scene that is depicted in the literary piece.
Use of Imagery in Poetry:
Imagery is a descriptive language that helps the readers to better understand what is happening. An author of the poem achieves imagery through the use of carefully selected words. Poets have abundance of words from which they choose just the right words to create a sensory experience for the readers. It is part of poet’s style to see the world in his own way. Imagery is called the reflection of genre in which the poet lives.
Faerie Queene (by Edmund Spencer)
“A gentle knight was pricking on the plain” “The day with clouds was suddeineouercast” “her huge long tail her den overspread, yet was in knots, pointed with mortal sting”
Spencer’s use of imagery in the above lines is clearly visible. The first line depicts the sense of freedom and openness. The second line suggests readers to know about the upcoming danger. Further the poet portrays that evil can be present in its many forms. The whole poem is best example of poet’s imagery.
Daffodils (by Wordsworth)
“I wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high over whales and hill, When all at once, I saw a crowd, a host of Golden, a host of Golden daffodils. Beside the lake beneath the trees fluttering and dancing in the breeze
Here, the use of words by the poet presents clear imagery of his thoughts. He observed the daffodils alongside the river which appealed to his mind and he portrayed its sketch into his imagination.
“Ode on a Grecian Urn” (by John Keats)
“Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness”
‘Keats’ considers urn like a bride. In other words, he used imagery to tell the readers about the purity of urn on earth.
He further explains urn by saying,
“Sylvan historian, who canst thus express A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme.”
‘Keats’ considers that the urn is a useful tool to know about the history than the tool of writing which writers uses
He further discusses urn by using imagery,
“What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape”.
Here ‘Keats’ uses imagery to further tell about urn that it is decorated with difference scenes of history.
‘Keats’ further uses the imagery of empty town situated near the river and he says that the town is empty and people are silent, perhaps they go to distant altar for worship. He says,
“What little town by river or sea shore Or mountain built with peaceful citadel”
“Stopping by words on a Snowy evening” (by Robert Frost)
“He gives his harness bells a shake to ask if there is some mistake, the only other sounds the sweet of crazy winds and downy flake”.
‘Robert Frost’ uses the imagery by describing about the personification of horse who stopped on the way in that woods which was new to him.
“The Shell” (by James Stephens)
“An straightway like a bell came low and clear The slow, sad murmur of the distant seas, And in the hush of waters Was the sound of pebbles rolling sound, For ever rolling with a hollow sound”
The above underlined words clearly use the imagery of poet’s mind. His sense to choose these words is no doubt the clear indication of his mind sketch which personified him after seeing the nature.
“Baby Face” (by Carl Sandburg)
“Out on the land white moon shines, Shines and glimmers against gnarled shadows, All silver to slow twisted shadows Falling across the long road that runs from the house”
The poet’s use of imagery in the above lines is overloaded. The underlined words used by the poet in these lines clearly shows his imagination of mind and that he is personified with the moon shine and shadowswhich is stretched in the road to large extent.
“The Loon” (by Lew Sarett)
“A lonely lake, a lonely shore, A lone pine leaning on the moon; All night the water-beating wings; Of a solitary loon”.
As clear from the above lines, the underlined words create the mood of imagery of still, lonely and sorrowful.
“Who has seen the wind” (by Christiana Rosetti)
Who has seen the wind? Neither I nor you But when the leaves Hang trembling The wind is passing thoroughly
‘Rosetti’ by creating imagery in her poetry explores the universality concept of natural things. He describes about the wind which otherwise cannot be a material thing but one can feel it when it passes through him. By creating imagination of the wind, he says that the things which we cannot see may still have the impact on us.
“The most Dangerous Game” (by Richard Connel)
In the above play, ‘‘Richard Connel” through his character ‘Rainsford’ enumerates the conflict between man and nature. He perfectly sketches the scene when the ship is sink and he could not see what is happending because of darkness and he blames nature responsible for this drowning.
“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (By Beatles)
Picture yourself in a boat on a river, With tangerine trees and marmalade skies Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly A girl with kaleidoscope eyes Towering over your head Lo’k for the girl with the sun in her eyes.
“Catching Fire” (by Suzanne Collins)
‘Katniss’ a character in the novel is trying to warm up in the cold winter in District 12. The above lines make the reader understands about the surrounding which Katniss was facing.
“The Great Gatsby” (by F. Scott Fitzgerlad)
“Occasionally a line of grey cars crawls along an invisible track, gives different a ghastly creak, and comes to rest, and immediately the as-gray men swarm up with leaden spades and stir up an impenetrable cloud, which screens their obscure operations from your sight”.
Why Writers use imagery:
- To give specific detail and strong diction.
- To reveal something about a character setting, or object.
- To speak to our deepest feelings, joy, sorrow, wonder, joke.
- To emphasize certain qualities of the subject creating a mode.
- Helps reader to better understand what is happening