11/29 – Concrete Imagery

Daily Warm Up #6: Write a short story in which you are the villain.

Today we’re going to talk about concrete imagery in poems. I’m borrowing ideas from this article, so if you miss class, you’ll probably want to read it!

We’ll start by looking at these two poems together, and talking about them.

We’ll cover a couple of key terms in the process:

  • concrete
  • abstract
  • cliche

And we’ll talk about why poetry is not a “gush of feelings,” but a craft–and concrete images are a big part of making that craft happen on the page.

Our list of what makes concrete language:

  • things
  • individual words and phrases aren’t open to interpretation, but poem as a whole is
  • visceral/sensory
  • specific
  • NOT “about” feelings, but can communicate feelings
  • descriptive, but not full of adjectives

Our list of what makes abstract language:

  • vague
  • directly talks about emotions
  • every word is open to interpretation (love, hurt, feeling, wanting, wishing…)
  • full of cliche (words & phrase that are so familiar that they feel tired or worn out or uninteresting)

In poetry, we’re aiming for CONCRETE language.

Today your practice assignment is to write a poem that relies on concrete images.



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