Poetry Workshop: Images

Rebecca Balcárcel, author of Palabras in Each Fist, was on campus on Thursday. These are my notes from the section of her poetry workshop on images.

Employ images.
Use sensory language.
Use figurative language.

A study at Emery University found that when you read something happening and when you experience it, both light up the same sections of your brain. Which is why I don’t want to go to a horror movie and why I like to read escapist stories.

Try creating imagery.
Write a “Love is” metaphor of your own.
Quote from Sandra Cisneros: “Rachel … like a big black piano being pushed off the top of a three-story building and you’re waiting on the bottom to catch it. But Lourdes says it’s not that way at all. It’s like a top, like all the colors in the world are spinning so fast they’re not colors anymore and all that’s left is a white hum.”

Rebecca went around the room and had each of the 30 participants give their metaphors:
bowl of oatmeal
a machine melting
a soft cloth
five-inch Steve Madden heels
a worn tee-shirt

It was a delightful exercise, just hearing what metaphors the students came up with. Some were quite unusual.

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