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Imagery in Poetry

Lauren Forner
Lauren Forner
Lauren FornerDeniliquin High School

TEP 424 Resource: Image In Poetry

Imagery in Poetry

1 of 21
Nothing’s Changed
A Piece of Sky Without Bombs
By the end of this presentation you
           will be able to…
• Understand what ‘imagery’ is
• Identify the images poets use in their poems
• Understand the relationship between poetic
  techniques and imagery
• Begin to analyse why imagery is used in protest
  poetry
• Demonstrate your understanding of imagery by
  completing your own example
• What is it?
Words create pictures in your mind

• How does it work?
Symbols
Metaphors and similes
Detailed descriptions
Personification

How many of these poetic techniques are you familiar with?

What are some of the other poetic techniques you can think of?
• Why would a poet use it?
Transports reader (time or place)

Reader experiences the poem’s action

Reader experiences emotional reaction



 If you can see it, you believe it!
What images do our poets use?
‘Nothing’s Changed’ (Afrika):

  Small round hard stones click
  under my heels,
  seeding grasses thrust
  bearded seeds
  into trouser cuffs, cans,
  trodden on, crunch
  in tall, purple-flowering,
  amiable weeds.
What images do our poet’s use?
WHAT do we imagine?

Harsh landscape

Landscape intruding on people

Forgotten landscape
Ad

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Imagery in Poetry

  • 1. Nothing’s Changed A Piece of Sky Without Bombs
  • 2. By the end of this presentation you will be able to… • Understand what ‘imagery’ is • Identify the images poets use in their poems • Understand the relationship between poetic techniques and imagery • Begin to analyse why imagery is used in protest poetry • Demonstrate your understanding of imagery by completing your own example
  • 3. • What is it? Words create pictures in your mind • How does it work? Symbols Metaphors and similes Detailed descriptions Personification How many of these poetic techniques are you familiar with? What are some of the other poetic techniques you can think of?
  • 4. • Why would a poet use it? Transports reader (time or place) Reader experiences the poem’s action Reader experiences emotional reaction If you can see it, you believe it!
  • 5. What images do our poets use? ‘Nothing’s Changed’ (Afrika): Small round hard stones click under my heels, seeding grasses thrust bearded seeds into trouser cuffs, cans, trodden on, crunch in tall, purple-flowering, amiable weeds.
  • 6. What images do our poet’s use? WHAT do we imagine? Harsh landscape Landscape intruding on people Forgotten landscape
  • 9. What images do our poet’s use? HOW does the poet make us imagine these things? Seeing and touching the landscape through Descriptive detail: small round hard stones bearded seeds trodden on cans purple flowering, amiable weeds
  • 10. What images do our poet’s use? HOW does the poet make us imagine these things? Hearing the sounds of the landscape through Onomatopoeia: click crunch
  • 11. What images do our poet’s use? HOW does the poet make us imagine these things? Feeling impacted upon by the landscape thorough Active verb: thrust Symbolism: hard stones Feeling empathy for the landscape through Personification: amiable weeds are littered with garbage (cans)
  • 12. What images do our poet’s use? WHY would the poet want us to imagine these things? Transport us to physical time and place: South Africa, post Apartheid What do we know about post-Apartheid South Africa? • Districts which were bulldozed and forgotten about, used as dump sites • Groups of people who were forgotten about • People were responsible for decimation of landscape and ethnic groups
  • 13. What images do our poet’s use? WHY would the poet want us to imagine these things? Feeling emotion: • Being forgotten • Being downtrodden and harshly treated • Being devastated to see wasteland former home has become
  • 14. What images do our poet’s use? The Protest? Country still in need of change, reparation after policy of Apartheid ends. Looking beyond the policy change to actual effects on displaced people.
  • 15. Let’s do the next one together! Steps: 1. What is the image in the text? 2. How is the image being created? 3. Why would the poet use this image?
  • 16. ‘A Piece of Sky Without Bombs’ (Lam Thi My Da) At night your soul pours down, bright as the stars.
  • 17. WHAT are the elements of the image? What does the ‘soul’ look like? • Night sky • Bright stars • Light shining on the earth Now use Google Images (www.google.com) to find a picture containing these elements which you can use to help you imagine what the ‘soul’ in the poem looks like.
  • 18. HOW is the image being created? Simile: Comparing something to something else using ‘like’ or ‘as’. The soul is being compared to bright stars in the night sky Let’s make a list as a class: What qualities does this give the ‘soul’?
  • 19. WHY would the poet use this image? Let’s discuss as a class: Why would the poet want us to connect a ‘soul’ (something from the afterlife) with ‘stars’ (something we can see)? Connecting our world (stars) with the afterlife (soul) gives us a way to maintain connection with the dead.
  • 20. The Protest? Connecting our world (stars) with the afterlife (soul) gives us a way to maintain connection with the dead. Why is this important in the context of the Vietnam War? Discuss this in small groups of 3. HINT: Think about what you learnt about: • number of civilians killed in Vietnam • attempts made to ‘forget’ the War (at the time and for decades afterwards)
  • 21. Its your turn! In pairs, complete this table for a second image in this poem using the same steps: HINT: Think about the elements of Could it be that when we passed that day, the image which it was not the sun but your heart breaking through? are highlighted in red for you! WHAT is the image? Think about HINT: Use Google poetic techniques Images like Picture you have found to represent this What metaphors, perso image emotion, action, nification, symbol time or place is ism etc HOW is the image created? the Thinktrying poet about to get you have what us to experience? learnt about WHY would the poet use this image? the context of the poem and poet How does this connect to what the poet is protesting about?