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Using sensory words to create poetry
Sensory Emotion Poetry
by Vivian Gilbert Zabel

Goal: This exercise helps writers to understand the use of sensory words in poetry and better to write in an objective or impersonal manner.

Materials needed:
         sample list of sensory words
         poetry devices list
         example of emotion poems


1. For class poem, to be written on board:
         a. Decide on an emotion
         b. List sensory words to describe the emotion (NOT how it causes a person to feel or to act, but the emotion as if it were alive)
         c. Use sensory words to write an emotion poem on the board (do not have to use the form of word listed)
         d. Be sure poem is about the emotion itself, objective, and does not include any reference to how the emotion causes a person to feel or to act
         e. Avoid using phrases such as "It is..." Avoid using linking verbs except as an exception. Also avoid stating that the emotion sounds like or tastes like or feels like. Use information without stating the lazy statements.

2. Find devices used in poem

3. Revise as needed to have at least four (4) devices in poem

Assignment: Write an emotion poem, describing the emotion not how it causes a person to act or to feel, using action verbs as much as possible and avoiding "It is..." or "(emotion) is..." or stating the emotion feels like, tastes like, or sounds like, etc.

1. Poem is to be at least six (6) lines long.

2. Poem is to have at least four (4) devices

Examples of Sensory Emotion Poetry

1st poem:

Example of sensory words listed: cold, coarse, twisted, screaming, musty, decay, gray, clammy


Cold, coarse, clammy fingers
Creep their twisted way into the mind.
As loneliness' piercing scream
Echoes soundlessly into emptiness,
Its musty, decaying path
Leaves no room for coherent thought.

(poetry devices used: alliteration, personification, enjambement, caesura, oxymoron)

2nd poem:

Example of sensory words listed: red, roar, burning, acrid, bitter, freezing, ripping, rough, black


A red, ripping roar rages
Overwhelming all, blasting, blistering,
Leaving nothing but ashes.
Anger's freezing, burning breath
Brings bitterness and defeat.
No hope can exist in
Its acrid, arid hands.

(poetry devices used: alliteration, personification, caesura, enjambement, oxymoron)
© Copyright 2003 Vivian gives thanks (vzabel at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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