Addressing the need to use sensory words in poetry
by Vivian Gilbert Zabel
Goal: This exercise helps writers to understand the need of addressing as many of the five senses as possible for complete descriptions. Also writers demonstrate the use of sensory words in poetry.
Materials needed: Sample of Sensory Words
NOTES: Descriptions should be complete and accurate enough that a person/reader can picture the thing being described. Since words are tools used to create imagery, then sensory words are tools needed to create thorough descriptions. The more senses that can be utilized and the more specific the word used, the better the description, the more the reader can identify with what the writer is describing.
1. Consider the five senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch (feel).
2. Read over the Sample of Sensory Words handout. Consider which are more specific.
3. Add as many sensory words for each sense as possible, may use thesaurus.
(NOTE: I'm sorry I am unable to format the lists of words into columns for easier reading.)
colorless white ivory yellow gold orange green olive turquoise azure pink crimson maroon lavender purple silver brown black mottled red ruby blue spotted
round oval triangular rectangular square shapeless
immense massive large tiny small tall short wide long narrow lean
round flat curved wave/wavy ruffled angular hollow tapered wiry lopsided freckled wrinkled striped bright clear glossy jeweled fiery shimmering muddy drab dark grimy worn cluttered fresh flowery transparent sheer opaque muscular handsome robust fragile pale perky lacy shadowy
crash squawk crackle chime ring thud whine buzz laugh silence bump bark clink gurgle chuckle boom bleat hiss giggle cry
thunder bray snort guffaw bawled bang blare bellow sing crow roar rumble growl hum chatter scream grate whimper mutter mumble screech slam stammer murmur wail shout clap snap whisper babble yell stomp rustle sigh cheer whistle jangle whir hush storm
oily rich bland ripe buttery hearty tasteless medicinal salty mellow sour fishy bitter sugary vinegary spicy bittersweet crisp fruity hot sweet savory tangy burnt
sweet piney acrid sickly scented pungent burnt stagnant
fragrant spicy gaseous musty aromatic gamy putrid moldy perfumed fishy spoiled dry fresh briny sour damp earthy sharp rancid dank
Touch (feeling) Words
cool wet silky sandy
cold slippery velvety gritty icy spongy smooth rough lukewarm mushy soft sharp
tepid oily woolly thick
warm waxy furry dry
hot fleshy feathery dull
steamy rubbery fuzzy thin sticky bumpy hairy fragile damp crisp leathery tender