How To Establish An Emotional Connection With Your Audience As A Poet

When I was attending college many years ago, I had difficult in establishing an emotional connection with my audience as a writer of poetry.  My feelings were within the piece, but my audience felt emotionally disconnected from it.  All of my creative writing professors I ever had told me the same thing.  “Kiki, you need to incorporate imagery, similes and metaphors, along with the other elements emotionally charged poetry generally has.  A good way to do that is to go back and review the classics.  Studythem carefully, try to pick up their styles of writing.  Use these particular poets’ methodsas a blue print to follow.”

It wasn’t until a year or so after graduating from college that I really began to put the advice into practice.  Firstly, when incorporating images into a piece, it’s important to begin with studying one’s own emotions.  As a writer/poet, one should ask himself the following questions.  What kind of image does this emotion create in my mind?  The next thing to do is to describe the image from the emotion.  If it’s anger the poet is feeling, is the emotion a raging fire that is roaring out of control?  Is it like a towering inferno?  What color is this emotion I’m feeling?  Is it a dark red like blood or the shade of a maraschino cherry?  If the emotion is sadness, does the stomach feel like it’s twisted up in knots?  Is it like a winding road filled with many hedges whose needles poke up in a variety of directions?  Is the emotion like the trickling sound of rain as it hits the pavement?

Next, the poet should make an indication as to the cause of his emotion that he is feeling at the time of creating his work of poetry.  Perhaps the writer is feeling sad or even depressed due to the passing of a loved one.  If so, incorporate the name of the loved one, if desired.  Or the poet can even consider the character traits of the loved one, as describe him or her through the use of imagery and incorporate similes and/or metaphors.

If this particular loved one brought joy into the world to everyone who was around him or her, was the personality of the loved one like a beautiful river, whose surface might be smooth and sparkly like a diamond.  Was the interior like the rocks one would step on in the water of a river, that gave the poet a sense of pain when stepping on them when wading through the water?  If so, then perhaps it would a good means to describe the pain the loved one was feeling within, even though he or she was the life of a party and all smiles on the outsight in life to hide how he was really feeling.  Or perhaps this loved one had a spirit that had the temperament of a lion; yet, the mellowness of a brook.

The methods of which I described will mold and shape the poem the poet is creating; thus, bring out his emotions in the piece and allow his audience to participate in the overall experience either through the poet’s eyes or through the eyes of the character or characters the poet creates within the piece.

© Copyright, Kiki Stamatiou, 2015


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