How does one add colour to their poetry? That’s the question before us today. Last week we learned about the importance of using strong verbs. And using good verbs is part of writing good poetry, but if those verbs don’t have words to hang on to, then all you have is emotions and action that goes nowhere. Using good adjectives is paramount to taking your nouns and verbs into the hearts of your readers. It is the verbs and adjectives you use that lend excellence and quality to the lines of your poetry. “The force, power and beauty of each phrase, expression and line grow out of the poet’s use of adjective or verb or both.” (Fairchild)
When a poet uses a noun in his verb, the poet isn’t thinking about the tree… he’s thinking about the colours changing, a child swinging, of whistling choruses, and safe havens for birds, of seasons passing as weathered leaves flies to the lonely honking of the winter geese. When a poet thinks of house she brings to mind sweet memories of overbaked pies, and voices raised in shock and smoke billowing as laughter fills a room at a stove forgotten. The gleaming black of feather falling from the sky that lifts the soul to consider angels in the heavens.
The poet personalizes these objects he finds bringing them to life and soul, drawing in our hearts as we see the world through her eyes. Use those adjectives, show the world how you see it. The images we make are the anchor of our poetry. It gives our readers something to hold on to and those images will bring them back.
Remember.. this imagery we give our readers isn’t just visual picture but a precise language the evokes any of the senses.. taste, touch, smell, sound. Consider this: The scared rabbit has soft brown fur. OR Plush velvet greets my scarred hands, chocolate hues fighting for freedom. Which sounds more inviting? Which gives you an image you can hold in your head?
The use of sensory language is what makes the adjectives used in poetry so inviting. They help us see the world through the eyes of the poet. Drawing and holding us in. Use your adjectives well. Give them a purpose… Create an image.
Would you like to practice this skill? If so, click here for a work sheet.