Using Descriptive Detail


Natalie Goldberg, Wild Mind 
"William Carlos Williams wrote a poem about standing by the water tap in his kitchen and waiting for it to freshen. You know city water: sometimes it comes out rusty and you wait for it to run clean. I've done it, but I've never thought about it until I read Williams's poem."

Poetry often begins with an image. Therefore, poetry is in a unique position to explore and exploit the possibilities of language. By utilizing effective descriptive details, the language of a poem is able to achieve power over the thoughts and feelings of readers. Rhythm and meter are important to poetry, but without descriptive detail a poem cannot engage the imagination or the senses.

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