imagery – language that engages our senses: sight, tough, hearing, smelling, tasting, and even the sense of motion or balance. When a poet creates language that allows use to see, hear, feel, smell, taste, or sway, he or she has put us into her setting, put us at the time and place of the poem. Creating powerful imagery is a matter of choosing the exact word for the task, but it’s also important for the poet to be a person who is aware of his or her world, one who notices the details in all experience.
Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster shells.
(J. Alfred Prufrock)