Workshop > Emotions & Senses
Oct 11

Emotions & Senses

In poetry, writers become like painters or sculptors. Their words are their paint or clay. They are working to leave the reader with an image or feeling that sticks with them, even after they have left the poem. To do this, poets create unusual relationships between ideas and describe everyday objects and emotions in fresh and different ways. 

Here is something that is true for all of us: it is incredibly difficult to describe what the world looks and feels like from our own point of view. Only you walk in your own shoes, and we can only understand one another if we pay close and careful attention. In the process of describing the world in new and different ways, poets help us understand our world. Explaining our emotions, and how to relate to them, is especially complex and difficult. But great poetry often hinges on the ability to do just that.


Pick an emotion you have experienced in the last day or two. See if you can go beyond "happy," "sad," or "angry."

Now, with that emotion in mind, see if you can answer all of these questions:
  • What does your emotion feel like? What are the physical symptoms? 
  • What does your emotion taste like?
  • What does your emotion smell like?
  • What does your emotion look like?
  • What does your emotion sound like?

The challenge here is to compare an everyday emotion to new and unusual ideas...don't be afraid to try some crazy connections. Post your answers as a response to this XP. Perhaps they make for a wonderful poem all on their own. Maybe they will serve as great jumping off points for a different project. Or maybe, they will fit right into a poem you've been working with, and struggling for just the right word.