Erin's Poetry Tips

40 tips to poetry and poetry forums

Monday, April 04, 2005

The Image Progression Plot

When you are composing a poem that is primarily a series of images, the image progression plot is probably the most effective plot to use. In this plot, the images in the poem are arranged in some way that makes sense. Some examples of this progression are:

moving through the senses as if one were slowly approaching a scene -- the phenomenon is seen, then heard, then smelt, then tasted, then touched.

You can order the progression through the senses in other ways, as well; try reversing the order and moving away from the scene.
going from vague, abstract images to clear, concrete ones
progressing from gentle imagery (soft, misty, warm) to harsh (sharp, loud, burning)
increasing the contrast
There are many other progressions one can use to organize the imagery in a poem; simply be aware of the imagery you are using, and group it in whichever way will achieve the effect you want.

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