About workshops

Workshops on Neopoet are groups that meet for a certain period of time to focus on a certain aspect of poetry. Each workshop participant is asked to critique all the other poems submitted into a workshop. A workshop leader helps coordinate -- they set the agenda, give participants feedback on whether their submissions and critique are at they level expected of them, and after the workshop is over, give feedback to participants. 

To join a workshop, first find one that is of interest to you. Once you have found the right workshop (and verified that it is open -- you can find this out in the description below), you can apply to join the workshop.


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Immersing the reader via imagery (Let's get started)

Program description/goal: 

Description:We are going to explore the effective use of imagery to draw the reader into the poem.We will use both discussion and exercises to do this.

Leader: scribbler
Moderator(s): Mark

Objectives:Learning how to use imagery to "show" instead of "tell".

Level of expertise: Open to all

Subject matter:We will use both member and classic poetry in the shop in order to explore an important use of imagery.

Length: 
45 days
Number of participants (limit): 
12 people
Skill level: 
Date: 
Monday, September 16, 2019 to Thursday, October 31, 2019

Comments

don't tell
let one imagine
what 'tis

scribbler i would like to participate. sent you a message. how do i get in if not too late

Scribbler will update the list later today.
It is never too late to join any open workshop keeping in mind that if you do join late you will need to catch up.

~Mark~

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"One of my wishes is that those dark trees,
so old and firm they scarcely show the breeze,
were not, as were, the merest mask of gloom
but stretched away unto the edge of doom"

or
I wish theses trees
these big trees
were more than just a narrow strip
but were a full forest

I think we will all agree the first sample is much better than the second version. But why? It is because the first doesn't leave the reader feeling cold and disconnected whereas the second makes the reader feel like the writer is inviting the reader to come along with them on the rest of the poem. How did this happen? He did this by the use of exacting details which placed the reader beside him. By effective use of imagery.
BTW if you want to read the rest of this poem its title is "Into My Own" by Robert Frost. Now let's hear Your ideas on using imagery to immerse the reader.............

author comment

but I would like in on this one! Where are we? Do I need to give an exercise like the last one?

Please acknowledge critique and comments.
They are a vital part of our community!
Critique or comment today!

You could catch up by posting the few exercises at the bottom and there is some catching up for you to do with them.

Good luck,

~Mark~

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Hi Scribbler thanks for having this workshop. I was a little confused about your comment. I agree the first sample is better however you go on to say that the second one invites the reader to go with him by effective use of imagery. I don't understand which is actually better?

B9Pat

i was in a hurry and mistakenly said second when I should have said first

author comment

https://poets.org/poem/my-own

As always, use any resource you like.

~Mark~

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I am really interested in this as a choice for good imagery and wondered why you chose it as its rather one dimensional imagery.
The first piece is more intriguing one would want to read on it doesnt leave me feeling connected. Its certainly not immersive imagery to me. Version two prosaic and boring.
Also number one is in iambic pentameter mainly and rhymes giving it oodles of advantage.

You don't think the first example doesn't give enough detail to put the reader beside the writer? that's perfectly OK. Perhaps you can provide a sample that does a better job. This workshop deals with a lot of subjectivity and what is good for one reader might not be so for another so there is Nothing wrong with you showing us what you consider a better example.

author comment

I didnt say it didnt say it didnt draw the reader in I said that it was one dimensional imagery because it mainly uses vision .. sight so if we are considering good imagery its ok but not really vivid imagery. But just my opinion.

But I didn't want to use an entire poem, just one stanza. And in a lot of poetry which I've read it takes more than a single stanza to include vision, sound, aroma and tactile imagery. But you are right in pointing out that not all imagery was included in this one stanza

author comment

Preludes

BY T. S. ELIOT

The winter evening settles down

With smell of steaks in passageways.

Six o’clock.

The burnt-out ends of smoky days.

And now a gusty shower wraps

The grimy scraps

Of withered leaves about your feet

And newspapers from vacant lots;

The showers beat

On broken blinds and chimney-pots,

And at the corner of the street

A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.

And then the lighting of the lamps.

This uses so many of the senses, sight, smell, sound, touch and motion, cant you see that horse steaming and stamping and the shabby end of town.

appreciate it

author comment

Is it good for us to have a universal understanding of what imagery is?
Here is my starting point perhaps we can come up with a group definition?
Imagery is the name given to the elements in a poem that paint pictures and is sparked off the senses. Despite "image" being a synonym for "picture", images need not be only visual; any of the senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell, motion) can respond to what a poet writes.

How about the art of transferring an image or picture from one mind to another?

author comment

But the whole thing with imagery is that it can only transfer a really good picture if you use the senses . Imagery needs to be phrased in concrete language.

.

Into My Own
Robert Frost - 1874-1963

One of my wishes is that those dark trees,
So old and firm they scarcely show the breeze,
Were not, as 'twere, the merest mask of gloom,
But stretched away unto the edge of doom.

I should not be withheld but that some day
Into their vastness I should steal away,
Fearless of ever finding open land,
Or highway where the slow wheel pours the sand.

I do not see why I should e'er turn back,
Or those should not set forth upon my track
To overtake me, who should miss me here
And long to know if still I held them dear.

They would not find me changed from him they knew—
Only more sure of all I thought was true.
__________

~Mark~

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Perhaps seeing the entire poem will make the imagery stand out better

author comment

Having gone over imagery a bit we need to talk about the actual use of imagery in immersing a reader in a poem. In my limited experience it is the details, especially the small ones, which paint the picture which allows the reader to enter into a poem. Yall's thoughts?

author comment

Imagery that is used well transports the reader immediately into the poem and the setting. You no longer feel an outsider, but part of what is unfolding before you. And imagery is often built on other literary devices such as simile and metaphor. Imagery creates strong mental pictures and emotions.

Strong and effectively worded imagery can make you smell the coffee in the cup, taste the mellowed burn of aged whisky as it slides down your throat,
You can see what I am visualising tonight!!,lol

Example #8: My November Guest (By Robert Frost)

“My Sorrow, when she’s here with me,
Thinks these 'dark days' of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the 'bare,' the 'withered tree;'
She walked the 'sodden pasture' lane.”

This poem by Robert Frost is yet another good example of imagery. In the second line, the poet uses ''dark days,'' which is an instance of the use of ''visual imagery.'' In the fourth line, the bare, withered tree uses the imagery of sight. In the fifth line, the sodden pasture is also an instance of ''''tactile imagery.''''

how do u compare stan same poet off INTERNET

Imageries are of different kinds using each of our senses- five

Yes you get pulled in with the personification of Sorrow as a woman one who he is friendly with.
I think again his imagery is more around sight again to me the sodden pasture lane is more telling than showing.

And a meander through the sodden pasture lane
A bit of more than a flat out walk?
or even:
And a meander along the furrowed sided path

Hmm here we are tearing Frost apart lol

Later,

~Mark~

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The only thing I don't like about this poem is his referring to his wife as "My Sorrow". Now this one stanza as far as I can tell has visual and tactile

author comment

stanza of 6 lines max which contains as many types imagery as we can find.

author comment

Remember that he was a poet from New England, Lawrence Massachusetts and the imagery in all the senses come to me remarkably. I, coming from Lowell which is the next town over from where he came from. I have written poetry on his farm in Derry and have visited his home above Canon Mountain of the White Mountains in New Hampshire. I like how he begins by writing it is one of his ideas and that prompts me to read on. It is a sort of invite. His image of the old trees is exactly what was happening back in the 1950s and 1960s as the city roads in this area were lined with old trees that were slowly being taken down. Then he moves towards out of town beyond the dirty industrial city of those times (edge of doom) This image is so clear and the smells of it and sounds all of that to do with these old cities comes to me. He goes on to talk about heading out to where roads are being built and that brings all my senses into play because I vividly recall all of that. He caps the Sonnet with his destination finding all he thought that is true. He made it to his home up north.

Now the only problem I see in this is not lack of imagery but that it is not so relevant, unless you are from around here during those times. I was and it is a remarkable poem for at least those who were here in those times.

I apologize for this edit but I could go on and on ...most of my childhood is in that poem lol
Thanks,

~Mark~

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You have brought that poem to life for me. I too was there during those times and Frost couldn't have
described it any better. I didn't see it when I first read it but going back it was like reading my first poem. Wow what a marvelous piece of poetry.He could have loaded it up with imagery but instead he saves it for the best parts which I think makes the imagery more relevant.

B9Pat

There are old woods being clear cut all the time depending of where you live. Around here in the national forests up in the mountains they often leave at least 100 yards along the roads uncut so that people just driving past have no idea that just out of sight are 1000s of acres clear cut

author comment

what you see and understand depends on your life experience so as poets if we want specific imagery we have to get the context right but even then the reader will interprete with their norms. Which makes this area so interesting.

You make a really valid point that the reader interpretes images and concepts through their own life experiences and here the vividness of the picture you create on top of Frosts imagery does just that.

Lets not lose sight of the fact though that that description of the dark wood stretching to the edge of doom is also symbolism for a journey through life of the need to move forward find ones way through the thick dark trees.

With some of my past poetry it was said that I think in three dimensions yet was unaware that was occurring until someone really studied what I had done. I don't know if Frost was aware of the symbolism, or writing more his style of face value. It would be wonderful if he were still around huh?
Later,

~Mark~

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there have been a number of times when I have written something with symbolisms I was not aware of until after they were pointed out

author comment

Stream or here in the workshop?

Thanks,

~Mark~

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here on this thread.

author comment

and the rain continues its own fall
as some of it drips off hat's brim
I hear a far off barred owl's call
as if it pleads for time to stall
while evening light begins to dim

author comment

Sight and Sound?

I think in the line about drips off hat's brim

author comment

telling not showing ... imo...

i got sight, sound and tactile too

Goody Cathy tell me where?

if the rain drips off the brim it had to hit the hat. one can feel the rain hitting through a hat.

I guess the impact on the hat Is inferred but the dripping off the brim? Well at least Some of those drips hit the shoulder but again this is inferred. But in any case the detail of the dripping likely helps the reader identify with the protagonist don't you think?

author comment

Somehow show the rain landing on the shoulders as well. On the hat is clear but think this particular idea of suggestion is asking a lot IMO

~Mark~

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I never dreamed our meeting tree be downed
Old oak with thick grey scratchy surfaces
The stench from the sewer drain at its roots
Our bike tires would screech to a stop there
Near where the ice cream man would park his truck

Silence occurred for moments - good for Ma

~Mark~

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Sight sound smell
? motion bikes screeching to a halt
You would have had touch if you had touched that tree
same taste if you had tasted that icecream ...

that his having described the scratchy surface counts as tactile.

author comment

no it is a visual image he would need to indicate touch I think

In describing a sharp object does the protagonist have to be cut?

author comment

No but they have to find a way to demonstrate sharp. The tactile bit may be the feel of the handle the balance of the knife.
The thin blade of steel glinted as I held it by its warm ivory handle. Deadly even in the making

i imagined how the scratchiness feels but i did not really feel it as i could have a his hand had moved on it. is there a place where we would want only one sense shown for some reason? or do we have to always try to get in every sense?

one type imagery. Of course in a lot of actual poetry a single or maybe 2 types imagery are included in any single stanza.

author comment

one type imagery. Of course in a lot of actual poetry a single or maybe 2 types imagery are included in any single stanza.

author comment

that his having described the scratchy surface counts as tactile.

author comment

as I tried to align with the meter of Frost as best I could. To stretch each line into a stanza would have accomplished what I think yous are asking for :~)
Thanks,

~Mark~

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Did you work out the metre?

It is a typical Sonnet and I do have difficulty with footage but at my stage can certainly count 10 syllables. I'm getting better at it though the more I practice.
Thanks,

~Mark~

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Many a thing has gone and changed since we were kids I have played with your six lines,
Your write was great but we can all have a play it is fun ..

I sat on the stump of our revered, downed Oak Tree
It's bole now un-huggable and our heart carvings gone.
I still smell the root infested drains it sought as nourishment.
I still hear the screech of our bikes tires as we played there.
Listen in the distance the same Ice cream vans call.

Yours as always Ian ..

Words can build a nation

Ya bested me my friend.
Great job!
I can see you are a true master when ya work at it.
Keep it up you can be a pleasure to read.
Later,

~Mark~

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We're talking about imagery and, as was noted, it means different things to different people.

Imagery, to me, has to connect emotionally, to stick. Would it be a good exercise to list our imagery concepts and explore them in turn?

Perhaps Each participant could provide a definition of what imagery means to them and post something in that context. We could review and discuss and move to the next.

These are my thought, I welcome a consensus.

---------------------------------------------------------

Jonathan Moore

I am not quite sure what connect emotionally means to you ? being able to relate from your life experiences .
I think it would be good to explore our understanding of imagery more and maybe how it relates to other figurative language.

This is a member driven shop so go ahead and post any ideas you have about imagery and how it can be used to connect the reader with a poem

author comment

This is a member driven shop so go ahead and post any ideas you have about imagery and how it can be used to connect the reader with a poem

author comment

The slow sound of bass notes entwined
with the trailing notes of violins rise
as I bite into the peach tasting the sweetness
of honey, juice dribbling my chin, the aroma
full of complex pheromones like your aftershave
I shudder as my paisley shawl slips across my skin

You got visual, sound, taste, olfactory and tactile

author comment

fragrant imagery
my mouth waters like watermelon
how I wish my lips are deeply kissed
reading this lovely piece
my heart beats in symphony
has any one the sweetest heart to say this

Quiet, How can I drink of the beauty?.
Close your eyes to really see
Listen to the colours blend
The children are playing again
There in the forest of dreams.
Feel the life, jostling for a place.

Yenti 17-09-19

Words can build a nation

synaesthesia?

You have used one sense to describe another. Let's see....audio, visual, maybe tactile

author comment

has brought up a good subject. Is describing the texture of something enough to call the description tactile or does the protagonist have to actually touch the object?

author comment

Tactile means touch or feel if you describe something but dont state how it feels its a visual image.
My hand on the hard scratchy surface of the trunk
I stroked the harrd scratchy surface of the trunk
I remember leaning against the hard scratchy surface of the trunk
Although I would want more imagary than scratchy.
I ran my fingers in the crevices and whorls of the trees bark

The fine blue and white china and crystal wine glasses
Sitting atop rustic knotty pine table
Each person sitting just close enough for clinking of glasses
The smoke coming from candles as lights were turned down
For the callout Happy Birthday!
Here! Here!

sight, sound, feel...you could have got smell if you had mentioned the smell of the candles and taste if you had a mouthful of wine.

Pat could have made the lines a bit longer to go beyond a sense of suggestion.
It's a good go at it though IMO
Pat, what writing tool(s) are you working with? MS Word? Google Docs? I hope you're not doing this workshop on word pad or even note pad. Whew, doubt I could work with those last two.
Later,

~Mark~

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fruitfully fragrant imagery
my mouth waters like watermelon
how I wish my lips are deeply kissed
reading this lovely piece, yes this
my heart beats in symphony
has any one the sweetest heart to kiss

Olfactory, taste, tactile, heart beat could be sound.......where is visual?

author comment

does this piece of white snowy chalk
on the board of the open and vast sky
show you the visions
as visuals of the blue sky

tactile is touch
and soundless
when a gal is touched
at her elbow
she feels it and yells
then it becomes sound
like shaking in hell
is this now well
dearest stan
lol
what ya'llnow say

Examples of Tactile Imagery
Roll up your sleeves and get comfy. We're about to go on a sensory ride including stabs of pain, slobbers of puppy drool, and delicate wraps of cashmere warmth.
• As I tumbled down the hill, the loose rocks raced alongside me, pricking my hands and face like a hundred tiny knives.
• The little puppy accosted me as he slobbered my face with his wet and eager tongue.
• I had no choice but to pet his cotton soft fur. I ruffled his floppy ears as he slapped his mink-soft paw into my hand.
• She started to sweat so feverishly that, when she rose from the leather couch, her slippery skin stuck to it like a Command Strip.
• The baby cactus appeared to have soft little spines that wouldn't hurt a fly. Turns out, one touch of those "soft little spines" will leave you with a bloodied finger!
• She ran her hand across the dark, concrete wall. It was cold as ice. When she came to the middle of the room, she felt a thick, slimy substance actively oozing down the wall.
• As she wiped the sweat from her brow, she realized her skin was just as cold and sticky.
• The masseuse rubbed warm oil, scented with lavender, across her stress-riddled shoulders.
• He picked up the ice cold fountain pen, the cool metal barrel resting against the side of his index finder, and sat down to write his last letter.
• He wrapped the buttery soft cashmere throw around her shoulders and drew her close.

Wow they are long and yea the imagery is great, love it.
This sort of writing though I don't know where it would go into poetry.
Epic? A sort of Homer story or writing of a book in prose?
Hmm imagine trying to pull meter together alike in each line wow.
I do suppose that enjambment could work with imagery in lines as such.
Really great examples though!
.

~Mark~

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Imagery tends to be longer in line length.
Yes you can use enjambment with imagery.
Writing anything in metre is more difficult just choosing the words and getting stresses right is a huge jigsaw puzzle. But you only write in metre if you are writing in a form so you choose the right form for the subject. High imagery is probably best in free verse but also look at how Frost managed his metre. Its a sonnet so should be iambic pentameter and he has enough lines in that metre, to count but several of his lines are not iambic he went fir diction over strict metre.
one of/ my WISH/es is THAT/ those DARK TREES,

pyrrhus/iamb /anapest/ bacchius

So OLD and FIRM they SCARCEly SHOW the BREEZE
so line 2 perfect iambic pentameter

no start a free verse /rhyming debate here lol. But you are correct that Frost was excellent at maintaining meter.

author comment

Without saying to the touch (in any way) does not the image conjure up the feel? Or does one need assume that nobody has ever felt rough tree bark so the need to tell what it is would be necessary?
I have felt it thus by image I can also feel it.
Could anyone feel what Frost knew as his truth? I for one could feel the unfinished roads and the grip on my steering wheel on my way up north. I could feel the trails under foot through the northern woods. Hmm

~Mark~

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Nobody can feel what Frost knows as his truth only he feels it, we can empathise with it, try to decipher it and its quite a big leap from dark stiff trees stretching till the end of doom as lifes journey.. We use his imagery his concept to spark a picture in our minds.
What you wrote was imagery I am nit convinced it was tactile imagery does it matter? Normally not a jot ... only in this imagery workshop where we are trying to tease out the nuances of imagery.

Did you feel or did you imagine? If it is feeling you were experiencing was emotional feeling not tactile feeling.
The feel of the steering wheel is a tactile image but that is an image way outside the poem not something Frost was implying .
Lets face it Frosts image was all visual and was there to make a symbol for lifes journey it only a description of the countryside on one level.

I imagined the feelings of what I wrote and on Frost, I really believe he was writing simple this is how I see it poetry. But we all can pull it apart to suit ourselves.
On Frost though I recall im live on TV back in the 1960s and I had no idea what he was talking about but do recall my dad shaking his head a lot lol

Been out all day, just trying to catch up here.

~Mark~

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We are not pulling it apart other than to understand it.
On one level his poem as are many of his poems simple nature poems but mostly if you read and analyse it there is something more to his message.
This is about a young man contemplating moving out onto the journey of life, the dark trees are life stretching out hopefully to the edge of doom...death the imagery is symbolism and metaphor.
The trees hide a future full of possibilities and the narrator is saying he is fearless.
This is an accepted view of the poem I am not just making it up... honest

Often it is the secondary level of a poem which makes it really memorable and by becoming memorable it immerses the reader

author comment

The jagged edged bark of the old oak sent eerie shivers through my arms
as that strangeness after my arm falls asleep at times
yet before it once again awakens, a very odd experience.

My way of imagery is to remove any sense words...see, feel, touch, taste and hear to include words alike those. That pushes me into more challenging directions because I need to think out what I chose for words and how to arrange them. Imagery to me needs to be a challenge that pushes the craft further than in the past.

~Mark~

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Thats just how I see imagery we are in concord! lol

the kitchen is sweating, its window glass dripping
the breath of hot chicken spreads out from the pot
in the broth floats chopped yellow, green, brown and white
on my tongue the sharpness of onion dropped
on the cutting board near the gleaming knife
i tap on the board, thinking of my childhood

missed working on meter but i will leave it

Don't and won't touch it.
Great reading IMO
Thanks,

~Mark~

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thanks mark. inspiration: husband sean making chicken soup (i am a lucky woman)

you are :~)

~Mark~

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assumed to be something the protagonist actually touches or feels. But we can also, if we are certain of "audience's" pat experiences that to call up the memory of a feeling could also be a tactile thing. Eg. And the recollection of the cold brought chill bumps to my nape.

author comment

You obviously dont think that tactile should be something touched or felt. Or you wouldnt have made that stipulation. Its up to everybody to make their own decisions about it and use imagery as they see fit. Leave it open and see how this pans out with further examples in future days. This is surely preliminary setting out imagery.

the description of the feel of something makes the reader remember that feel then what else Can it be called?

author comment

My comp is suddenly is running slow and wonky. Hopefully not some virus sneaking in. If for some reason I become awol ya'll keep the discussion going until I get back. Hopefully this will not happen

author comment

I do that at least twice a day ,it is a pain but needs to be done.
Later,

~Mark~

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so many imaginary poets at hand
how can lovedly also stand
imagery is not a new found brand

no poetry can ever be composed
if poet is bland
no images at hand
three of my guffaws you have glossed
now what can I do boss

touch me not with an iron rod
nor smell me like smashed putrid potatoes
smell not my nose
nor toes
this is how imagery goes
who knows
did FROST
who will vouch
I went in search
when in Chicago
I got lost

but I'm being forced to limit my commentary because at the moment it's taking about 10 mins. to get on site, 5-7 minutes to bring up the shop then about the same to download any comment I make. I'm going to get my tech support daughter in law over in the next few days to see if she can get things going fast again

author comment

and most importantly
any down loads which have lost meaning
either printout or that pen file must be used .

All my experts told me
to throw my laps into the ATLANTIC

I did not listen now it's working better
than the surfs I missed in New Jersey
last week

suggestions but the only snaps I know about are beans lol

author comment

please be so kind as to use conversational prose when not posting poetry in this shop

author comment

with love and appreciation
hope this prose fits well
stan

good. We will have time enough for posting poetry in the shop

author comment

is as they say in the minds eye of the beholder?
That the best we as poets can do is profess as much relativity as our environment has and does offer?

Hmm..

~Mark~

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Imagery is in the eye of the beholder. There was a Star Trek: The New Generation episode that illustrated this with the culture that spoke in allegory. Each referenced story had a shared meaning.

The issue I see is writing in imagery that satisfies your intended audience and realizing those who are not your core audience will find the example less fulfilling.

And we've got to be okay with that.

An example is winter. many folk find it alienating and invoking feelings of loneliness. I find winter, to be a pause, a deep breath, a respite before continuing on the journey. when it is present as winter=despair, it does not connect with me.

Perhaps an exercise that state the desired outcome might be helpful. Such as:

"Six lines invoking a rough stone wall."

So that we are all working on a common goal and can determine which approaches have the maximum effect.

---------------------------------------------------------

Jonathan Moore

Exactly that Pugs, Winter in the north east, Arizona, Australia ..the sub tropics and so forth ...We try to satisfy the largest audience and that is an example of a dilemma. Perhaps call it the Frost Episode lol
Even the desert and bottom of seas have rough stone walls..very relative IMO.
Thank you,

~Mark~

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remarks kind of show why simplicity in imagery might be the way to go....Well, I'm gone for the night. See ya'll tomorrow

author comment

Grey is common and the impact of a sledge
On this granite will fracture the soft dry rock
Yet eons of earthen pressure are withstood

Chipped into dimensions in dusty quarries

Craftsmen fashion a rough faced wall for warm hearth
Trophies are placed on a mantle of thick slabs
_____

~Mark~

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Mark Is this some sort of hammer or a snow sledge? I think we may be having an American English word dichotomy.. lol

Sledge is short around here for sledge hammer.
"Grab that sledge."
"Take the sledge"

~Mark~

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Okkkk now it makes sense!

I find there are a few words that can help out in bringing the reader along with us in a poem. The use of the word "I" for instance. Although it refers to the protagonist when read it actually can make the reader identify with the I . Also there is "Let us" which bluntly invites the reader into the poem. Do ya'll have any other words that do the same?

author comment

Are they the words that draw you into a poem? I actually dont know what words draw readers into my poetry.
I know its often a hook a bait that whets the readers appetites.

There are a lot of the ivory tower poets who say never use "I' if you can help it. I'm not formally trained but whenever I read "I" it puts my mind in the poet's place. The same thing with "Let's". But this little side track is only that and not the main emphasis of this shop.

author comment

Milford Pink is common and a sledge impact...

~Mark~

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Ancient stones and flint laid flat and skillfully stacked stride across the valley, grey yet mottled with amber and rusty litchens, clumps of sheep wool caught on sharp corners flutter in the breeze emanating an odour of lanolin and droppings, I adjust the cold sharp shards and hear the rhythmic slap of sandals, smell leather and pungent musk
I shiver, as I continue my lonely task

And I doubt I would ever do that as it is a run on and that to me goes beyond enjambment. Maybe it is proper, I'm not sure but do know in poetry rules can go out the window. I would however certainly do that in a free write as a start before I would begin to edit it into verses and stanzas. You packed it all in excellent though. I need to ask if this was truly an experience of yours? Or images conjured up as in a fantasy?

~Mark~

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It was enjambment when I wrote it .. I often dont punctuate new lines.
If you write form there are rules free verse no rules just principles of good practice.
This was imagination the dry stone wall there over the mists of time have seen but the flashback to a Roman Legion marching that same land giving a ghostly awareness fantasy!

I cannot write fiction or fantasy if my life depended on it. I just don't have the mind for fiction. So, most of my poetry is non-fiction and with perhaps a touch of creative license (or fibbing) :~)
Later,

~Mark~

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The problem, in my opinion, with overusing enjambment is that it tends to let the writer form a "word wall" which can intimidate a reader.

author comment

Let's use something that's often ignored..........how about dust on a dirt road ? Let's use this as the subject for a poem of at max 8 lines and see if we can encourage the reader to accompany us.
Post the poem here first. We will all critique it as far as immersion goes . After critiques and any changes we will then post them on the stream. When posting on stream be sure to put (workshop) next to title......................OK, now I gotta got see if I can do what I am asking for lol

author comment

The ruts in your skin left by wagon wheels
Soft enough to suck in my bare feet
They say there's a cabin up at your end
Where a witch uses children for meat
Furrowed and worn, dried out and torn
Traveled by so many men
I inhaled your dust just in order to greet
A recluse - an old woman also at the end

The last line though, I wanted more.
A recluse, old woman 'round the last bend (?) lol
Perhaps, what do you think about that last line?

~Mark~

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trying to compare an old road to an old woman. her name was gracie eggelsdorf. she lived alone in the woods at the end of parker road in the oldest dwelling in livingston countty, my county as a kid. my friend and i sneaked up to see the "witch" as everyone said lived there. we ended up inside drinking tea and eating cookies made on an old old wood stove. she had no electricity or running water, a stream near by. she showed us pics and newspaper articles. she had been a teacher and traveled all over the world. i remember her flat irons, which she heated on that wood stove. she fed the birds and squirrels and deer. lovely woman. she was not "traveled by many men that she told us anyway lol" and was very happy to be where she was.

has it's misunderstood 'witch' we had a few actually but it was more their mysterious looking homes that brought us to those conclusions :~)
Thanks for that story, Cathy,

~Mark~

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Already thinking of halloween are we? I liked the 5th line best due to the internal rhyme as well as succinct description.

author comment

Loved this.
My only comment is you lost the rhythm in the last line which flattened it.
I was thinking?
A recluse - an old woman nearing the end
A reclusive old woman nearing her end
I like the discordance at the end my ear wanted resolution with a rhyme with greet and it didnt happen nice touch7

thanks samary. i was not fond of last line either.

or else lovedly will fly
like an eagle sky high
use similes and metaphors too

I have used so many before
you know

One was a bay cowhorse from Piedra & the other was a washed-out palomino And both stood at the rail of the corral & both went on aging In each effortless tail swish, the flies rising, then congregating again Around their eyes & muzzles & withers. Their front teeth were by now yellow as antique piano keys & slanted to the angle Of shingles on the maze of sheds & barn around them; their puckered Chins were round & black as frostbitten oranges hanging unpicked from the limbs Of trees all through winter like a comment of winter itself on everything That led to it & found gradually the way out again. In the slowness of time. Black time to white, & rind to blossom. Deity is in the details & we are details among other details & we long to be Teased out of ourselves. And become all of them. Larry Levis, from “Elegy with a Bridle in Its Hand”

My being sapped by the wind, blown to many other realms.
Now dust thrown to the very edge, taking a part of my whole.
Traffic beating it, even the feet of a child, dispersing ages of being.
Then the elements take control, my clogged parts washed away.

In rivulets of sludge trying to cling, colours of past days floating away.
I await the suns warmth once more, sealing my extremes
Part of me is left to wander free across my mother earths domain.
You may join in my flight one day, without you having to move..

Just a thought in passing, Love you all..

Words can build a nation

But you forgot to limit yourself the 8 lines

author comment

I have modified my write to conform to your new 8 Lines lol.
Hope this is better for the workshop,
Yours Ian ..

Words can build a nation

i think i am behind. i cannot find the posts with the suggestion to write about a wall, but i did it. here it is.
A Summer

he pulled my pigtails from your other side
standing on top we watched the river wide
your cold hard sides got warmed in summer's heat
the moss that loved you smelled warm green sweet
on rough and hard places our soft hands got cut
you could be unforgiving, hard, cold - but
that little boy and i played hide and seek
using you and i admit i would peek
around the spot where suddenly you stopped
where one lone, lonely piece had been left, dropped
by a hand with a reason, to us, unknown
do rubber balls hit your sides yet when thrown
i think of you fondly now that i'm grown
where the warm wind of summer once was blown
standing partial guard still but all alone
still standing although cracked now all alone
silently still standing now all alone

I see you decided to use another subject but that's OK. However you need to limit it to 8 lines. I know it's not easy to cover any subject with just 8 lines but this is where effective use of imagery can come in

author comment

sorry. i got confused. was meaning to write about the wall subject someone suggested, and got confused about who suggested it. i will try to do better. i think i did use 8 lines in my poem about chicken soup

We loved to stagger over dirt roads, simple unfinished fill
and dust on a dirt road would kick up with a bit of wind
or from a passing ten-wheeler filled with washed gravel
as we approached the musty sand and gravel quarry
behind the lake’s backwash where our hair became packed
with the dust, but as silt washed from the crushing of rock
then pumped into pits where we would inhale the exhaust
of heavy equipment as we fashioned angels in mud.

____

~Mark~

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Easily see myself beside you on the way to the quarry lake.

author comment

could feel myself there too

At the end of a long walk
along an unpaved forest road
I glance at boots and nearly balk
at their fine red dusty load.

For each step had brought a fine red plume
unnoticed as I looked around
at turning trees in nature's room
but I'd ignored the sere dry ground.

author comment

Nice rhyme.
You used vision and motion. Nice touch of colour.
Not sure about the turning trees as an image. Wondered also if you could have made more use of lines 1 and 2?

love this. and 8 lines lol

I am lost floating a bare inch from the ground
I have no cohesion since the conflagration
I am buffeted along the blacktop
I shout but people ignore me even when
I batter their faces and pause beside them
I see an open mouth and spring inside
The tongue moves me tastes the bitter gall
Dust to dust ashes to ashes I will survive.

Smiles for this .. well done!
The last line names the game :~)
Road of life I see..
One certain blast of wind blowing up that dust storm.
Later,

~Mark~

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perhaps? let's see:
line 3 would be tactile
line4 sound
line 6 visual
line 7 taste

author comment

Removing the words see and taste would push me into more of a challenge.
This is me though.
Samantha has her style and that's fine
Yet when you use a sense word then go about defining it or not why use it at all?
This is a rule that I learned near 7 years ago and try to stay with it although I can certainly leave the box so to speak lol
Later,

~Mark~

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Yes Mark you are right I could axe I see and replace with Here.
The taste more difficult ... I need to think of a way in a further edit.. My thoughts were about the dust maybe being the last ashes of a person flowing along the road. Still sentient, evil wanting to stay alive.... keep going..then that open mouth! The evil on the tongue......and the question is can they spit it out... or having tasted it ?? has that dust got a hold?
That was the thought...

It's about sharing ideas. I'm only here to point the way and help us stay on course

author comment

I entitled my comment in relation to Marks comment that was titled I stick to my rules.

dokey

author comment

The conflagration open ended for reader but I was thinking maybe cremation or any other sort of burning.
see my comment to Mark on my thinking.
I went with your I
go with your analysis other than tried to get motion in too
line 1 kinasthetic
line 6 visual and kinaesthetic

DELETED CREATING SPACE
WILL DELETE ALL MY COMMENTS
OTHERS MAY FOLLOW
STAN PL TELL EM

I said EIGHT lines. I said that to encourage both brevity and to get as much imagery as possible in one short poem. There will be a longer poem later but for now let's try to stay within parameters.

author comment

so you did this on your own

author comment

This subject and its writes has become far to big, it cannot be taken in .
Can we extract each of our six line writes onto a new page ,
that is the modified ones, or the originals.
Then ask for each of us to edit to a higher level, if this has not already been done.
It will make for the next phase of this great workshop a lot easier,
as we will only need to read fewer Pieces, and comment on the finished pieces better,
Yours Ian

Words can build a nation

Great minds create great things.
Why not make this workshop unbeatable?
It now stands at 144 comments and 468 reads... Wowza!
It's up to Stan though, to hear us out on that..

Later,

~Mark~

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This thread IS becoming pretty long. Open to ideas on maybe forming another thread?

author comment

As in a Forum?

~Mark~

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"Immersion workshop continued"? That should be easy enough.

author comment

The next exercise will be to post a favorite poem either your own or another's. So be thinking about a poem you love in which you feel as if you are walking beside the poet. DO NOT POST THE POEM UNTIL I ASK. the reason for this will become apparent. So be ready for when you are called upon to post.........stan

author comment

I expect you have all heard "show don't tell". What does this mean. It boils down to details. Don't tell readers you walked down a trail. Give details...was it dry or wet, was the trail steep, what were the surroundings like, were you with somebody, was wildlife present..these and other thing can almost paint a picture within a reader's mind. Thoughts?

author comment

Its more about the use of concrete and abstract words and imagery.
We all use words all the time which we think understand like freedom, democracy love, anger.
With abstract words friendly, democracy, horror, joy, misery we think we understand them, but we only understand them in the context of our experience and our understanding and there is more than one understanding there are many.
Therefore, the poet needs to add context to the abstractions usually by describing it in concrete terms or adding some sort of concrete imagery to ground the idea.

Concrete words are words that you can measure with the senses you can see, hear, touch, taste or smell them they are literal.
This is directly opposite to abstract terms, which name things that are not available to the senses. Concrete terms include spoon, table, velvet, red, hot, walk, bread, water, ice. Because these terms refer to objects or events we can see or hear or feel or taste or smell, their meanings are stable. If you ask me what I mean by the word spoon, I can pick up a spoon and show it to you. I can describe it to you, yes there are different types of spoon but we can all visualise a spoon and what it does. I can weigh potatoes, smell gas but I can't pour beauty into a jug or point out a small amount of anger crawling on the floor. While abstract terms will change at different times in your life and in different circumstances dog, water, run keep static meanings through one’s life.

You may think you understand and agree with me when I say, "We all want affluence." But surely, we don't all want the same things. Affluence means different things to each of us, and you can't be sure of what I mean by that abstract term. If I say "I want a six bedroomed mansion and a Ferrari in my driveway," you know exactly what I mean, and you know whether you want the same things or different things. The concrete terms are clearer and give you more context than abstract terms.
Which give you show not tell.

some of the best poetry is that which uses simple concrete imagery to pass along an abstract message.

author comment

I agree but most people use abstract rather tnan concrete imagery and dont understand the difference

But the "meat" of this shop will be coming up shortly and we will cover the use of concrete to instill abstract imagery then

author comment

Coming from this mill town area there are bad habits of speech. So, logic is very important for me. As in the confusion over the term 'sledge' that I used. I for one need to be continuously looking at the logic of my writing or anyone that reads my poetry becomes lost fast.

they slowly sway round and round in a circle

they circle round and round
then sway near their ocean floor

Hmm more logical yes?
Also cause for more detail.
Later,

~Mark~

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To some degree its the choice of the right words that is so important. In getting understanding.

Both details and getting the words right (that's a book) matter.
I have not read any of the book in years but chapter one begins and is called Revision by Reduction

axe, cut,compress, condense, decrease, delete, drop and it goes on to name two dozen words to remind us that we almost always write too many words. This is just the first chapter of a great book that I am re-reading and I thank you once again. GETTING THE WORDS RIGHT how to rewrite edit and revise by: Theodore A. Rees Cheney.

Please pardon the edit,

~Mark~

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here is both my six line and now modified eight line pieces for this workshop
Hope they are both within reason,
Yours Ian ..

Quiet,

How can I drink of the beauty?.
Close your eyes to really see
Listen to the colours blend
The children are playing again
There in the forest of dreams.
Feel the life, jostling for a place.
Yenti 17-09-19

A dirt road

Being sapped by the wind, blown to many other realms.
Now dust thrown to the very edge, taking a part of my whole.
Traffic beating it, even the feet of a child, dispersing ages of being.
Then the elements take control, my clogged parts washed away.
In rivulets of sludge trying to cling, colours of past days floating away.
I await the suns warmth once more, sealing my extremes
Part of me is left to wander free across my mother earths domain.
You may join in my flight one day, without you having to move..

Just a thought in passing, Love you all..
Words can build a nation

Words can build a nation

Pretty sure the first one is one I've already read and its use of contrasts in imagery is effective.
Now the second one. That first line has a clumsy start I think. Try just deleting the first word. But the rest is filled with details of all sorts that allow me to see what you see and feel

author comment

As this stream was becoming a river of thoughts and poetry,
I have put my original and the edited new pieces on the same comment,
so that I can find them quicker and when you have started a new thread,
they can be transferred as one to see where we are going with this.

I have my first main poem "The Valley" to put in the next section,
This was written when I was 15 and to me is full of young imagination..
Yours Ian

Words can build a nation

The dust of the red dirt road
Lays thick upon my sleeve
'Bout most clinging stuff, I think
I ever saw, I do believe
The smell of water haunts me
I wish there were some now
Through the haze of rusty air
I see the errant cow

Please acknowledge critique and comments.
They are a vital part of our community!
Critique or comment today!

that was a bit too early by minutes but you are OK now.

Water, I'm feeling the need for some.

Wow, if you were to take out those 3 sense words you could have opportunity for additional quality words. Perhaps more words yet if ya got em right those senses may become more effective.
I can see the dust
Now hick rough stiff sleeve (touch?)
rusty air is a nice sense of smell line.
I like it, really, Geezer
Just believe removing direct sense words gives the opportunity for more quality words.
Remember there is no line length limit on that exercise and too many words can be a negative factor as well.

Later,

~Mark~

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I wish today that the dust from this red dirt road
Could not gather upon my upper arm
Through this brown mesh top making it scratchy
Upon my skin - musty and irritating
Like the cow on the run I’m chasing
If I could refresh my throat with water
Guzzle down a pint in this rusty air
Catch the damn cow, my day would complete

~Mark~

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It starts out with the description of the shirt and it brings me visual quality. How the dust makes his arm feel scratchy musty and irritating upon his skin. tactile, odor musty . I like how he guzzled down a pint
Sounds more like he's tasting beer. But if it's water I still liked the way he guzzled it down. Geezer I liked the rhyme in yours. But I think that Mark went one step further than you. Yours is more subdued and I like the action in Mark's. I would be proud to say I wrote either one of these though.

B9Pat

I wonder if that would be typical meaning that rhyming limits one in poetic imagery Hmm..
I think rhyme in longer lines might as the feeling of rhyme or at least end rhyme may be lost.
I do believe in shorter lines rhyme can work out very nicely but am not sure it adds opportunity for better imagery.
I wonder what everyone else thinks?

Later,

~Mark~

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Hmm.. another bulb lit up lol
Perhaps for this exercise in the title? .. Red Dust Flies from a Rough Dirt Road
Input anyone?

Thanks,

~Mark~

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Scratches from the cactus, bleeding legs and arms
Red dust from this old sandy road, lends nothing to it's charms
I can smell the water, that lures my skinny cow
Wish I had some left, in my canteen right now
Sweat drips down my neck, seeps along my sleeve
It doesn't cool my temper, just stains the cotton weave
Dust clogs my throat and burns my eyes, turns my vision red
I hope we find that water, before we both are dead.
.

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The water is musty, still lures my skinny cow

That was a pleasure Guy, really..
Later,
Mark

~Mark~

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I enjoyed that one myself.

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Critique or comment today!

This thread has become unwieldy as far as length goes. There fore we will end this thread here and replace it with a thread titled "Immersing the Reader Via Imagery Part 2" which can be found on the workshop tab and on stream. I really appreciate all your participation thus far which has made this change necessary........stan

author comment

[SPLASHES STAN]
TeeHee
see y'all in Part 2

Later,

~Mark~

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Would it be a good idea to sum up the learning to date so we have a synopsis of the main points?

So far we have learned there are several types of imagery. tactile, olfactory, visual, sound, taste. There are also possible subsets wherein one type stated imagery infers another. Kinda still undetermined whether or not recalling a type of imagery is the same as stating or experiencing it. If I've left anything out please feel free to point my exclusion out.

author comment

So far we have learned there are several types of imagery. tactile, olfactory, visual, sound, taste. There are also possible subsets wherein one type stated imagery infers another. Kinda still undetermined whether or not recalling a type of imagery is the same as stating or experiencing it. If I've left anything out please feel free to point my exclusion out.

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