Happy first day of Autumn. My favorite season always brings a change in colors to nature, a sweater-worthy nip in the air, and the urge to bake something sweet, spiced with a generous shake of cinnamon. Because this time of year inspires my poetry in a myriad of ways, I decided to share ways to welcome the five senses into your poetry.
HOW TO INCLUDE THE FIVE SENSES INTO A POEM
Grab a pad of paper and your favorite pen or pencil and join me outside. Let’s list a few things we see, hear, smell, taste, and can touch. Become an investigator and peek under a mat of leaves or gaze up into the branches of trees.
What do you SEE that could inspire a poem? A farmer’s field, dotted with plump, orange pumpkins? A woodpecker’s jelly-red crest? Autumn’s fiery leaves, dancing to the ground?
Close your eyes. What do you HEAR? Listen to the rustle of leaves in the breeze, the chorus of honking geese, and a pair of chattering squirrels.
Take a deep breath. Can you SMELL the burning leaves, the sharp and welcoming scent of Pine? The sweet air after a good rain?
TASTE isn’t as easy outside, but let’s tackle that one anyway. Maybe as we’re walking past my garden, you taste the sweet and bitter coolness of a mint leaf. Then, you pluck the last tangy tomato from the vine or sip at the cozy cup of spice tea I made for you.
TOUCH is as simple as running your palms over the prickly tops of the grass, circling your finger in the feather-lined bird’s nest that has fallen to the ground, or wrapping your arms around a tree and hugging the rough bark to your cheek. (Yes, in my world, the trees deserve hugs.)
From your lists, select the one thing that inspires you most.
What words can you use to describe it. (Think in terms of color, texture, sound, movement…)
Imagine you are describing the sun to someone who has never seen it. Does this glowing ball look like an egg yolk or a beachball? Do clouds remind you of squishy marshmallows? Does a fence resemble a row of pencils? Does the rain remind you of fingers drumming on a desk? Does the breeze whisper secrets?
Choose words from one or more of your lists of senses becuase it’s time to write.
For my poem, I chose to compare Autumn to a dragon.
THE AUTUMN DRAGON
Scales shuffle like the rustle of dry leaves.
Fiery breaths set the trees aglow.
Powerful wing beats chill both air and spine.
One glowing eye gazes over the horizon.
The Autumn dragon has come.
by Leslie Leibhardt Goodman
I’ll see you Friday.