Join the Neopoet online poetry workshop and community to improve as a writer, meet fellow poets, and showcase your work. Sign up, submit your poetry, and get started.

Implied imagery

I was looking over one of the pastoral shop poems. It was the shortest one in the shop and it got my rusty brain to thinking about, of all things, imagery. This poem had little in the way of described imagery. So on first read it seemed lacking in this thing which so often separates good from excellent poetry.

But.........with more careful reading there it was, hidden Between the lines. Something I'd never really considered before. Implied imagery. Talk about the proverbial light bulb going off over my head lol. Now don't get me wrong. Stated and described imagery is still the more sure way to "paint the picture" in a poem.
But for those who value brevity or when specific imagery is not desired this implied stuff can be powerful. Eg. "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood". "Yellow".... a single word which lets the reader know these are autumn woods. And by saying nothing more this allows the reader to visualize what autumn woods mean to him/her. My understanding is that in Australia autumn woods are predominately brown. Here in the Blue Ridge foothills autumn means a splash on almost every color imaginable including areas of pine green. I've lived far enough south at times that autumn had little visual meaning except the wearing of long sleeves in the early morning. The implied imagery lets the reader choose and thus more easily identify with the poem. I expect this sudden enlightenment for me is likely old news to a lot of you but I thought I'd share it anyway..........stan


Good to point out what many miss when poets drop the odd word into a poem, it made me reflect on one of the old nursery rhymes, "There was a Crooked man" I will check on the age of this rhyme but Crooked tells a story within as your Yellow.
This rhyme is steeped in History as you will read ?

The origin of the Nursery rhyme "There was a crooked man"
The content of "There was a crooked man" poem have a basis in history.
The origin of this poem originates from the English Stuart history of King Charles 1.
The crooked man is reputed to be the Scottish General Sir Alexander Leslie.
The General signed a Covenant securing religious and political freedom for Scotland.
The 'crooked stile' referred to in "There was a crooked man" being the border between England and Scotland.
'They all lived together in a little crooked house' refers to the fact that the English and Scots had at last come to an agreement.
The words reflect the times when there was great animosity between the English and the Scots.
The word crooked is pronounced as 'crookED' the emphasis being placed upon the 'ED' in the word. This was common in olde England and many references can be found in this type of pronunciation in the works of William Shakespeare (1564-1616).
Stan, all is not as it appears to be and great care is needed in some reading, though your reference is of a pastoral one, some words in a simple thing as a nursery rhyme can bring many pictures to the mind.
Have a great day out there, Yours Ian

Give critique to help keep Neopoet great.
Unconditional love to you all.
"Learn to love yourself first"
Yours as always, Ian.T, Sparrow, and Yenti

nursery rhymes are based on , often, unpleasant realities. The one that pops into mind is "Ring around the rosies". The ring and roses describes the beginning manifestation of the black death. The pocket full of posies refers to how people would stuff flowers into pockets to hide the stench of infection. ashes, ashes. tells of there being air choked with the ashes of plague victims being cremated and we all fall down tells of the hopelessness of the people thinking they'd All die...........

author comment

Mary had a little lamb
and it was always gruntin
so she tied it to a five bar fence
and kicked its little...

no, that's not how it went was it?

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

It goes like this :
Mary had a little sheep
with the sheep she went to sleep
the sheep turned out to be a ram
Mary had a little lamb....................I THINK that's how it goes lol

author comment

and very difficult to workshop, especially when we extend beyond visual imagery but it's always worth another go.

I'd be happy to work on it with you.

By the way, Australia is almost the same area as the USA, we have climates from sub-arctic to equatorial. Some even have seasons. Can't generalise here. Our Snow Mountains get more snow than Switzerland and Austria combined!

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

Autumn coming on, my knees getting better and requiring less pain killers and less work load on house and land I've been thinking about running another shop. god knows I can't do meter lol. And the past imagery shops I've done have turned out Ok I guess. So maybe a shop on implied imagery might be a good one. Let me think about how to do it and maybe I can throw together something that will work in a few weeks. And help is always appreciated from any source.
You know there are very few countries I would care to visit. It seems Americans aren't welcome in a lot and the others are too stodgy and tourist trap. But I would not mind going to Australia where wild places still exist and Americans are at least tolerated.

author comment
(c) No copyright is claimed by Neopoet to original member content.