Basic Poetic Techniques

Using the five senses (taste, touch, sight, smell, and hearing) in poems creates a stronger image in the reader’s mind.

Five Senses In Poetry

Tynea Lewis By more by Tynea Lewis

Taste, touch, sight, smell, and hearing.

Your five basic senses help you take in information from the world around you. These senses are also a powerful tool to use when you're writing. They help convey a message to readers by providing a strong image in their heads.

5 Senses Taste, touch, sight, smell, and hearing

Tips to Use Your Five Senses When Writing Poetry

As you prepare to write, think about how your topic could be described using one, two, or all of your senses. You might want to write down each of the five senses and any words that describe your topic using those senses.

For example, let's say I'm writing about ice cream.

  • Taste: smooth, cold, melt in your mouth, sweet
  • Touch: Wet, cold, slimy, frozen
  • Sight: mounds, white as snow (vanilla), little crevices, puddles (when it melts)
  • Smell: sweet, minty (mint chocolate chip)
  • Hearing: plop, splat (when it falls on the floor)

Once you've done some brainstorming, you're now able to think about adding those descriptors into your poem. Do you need to use all of them? Absolutely not. Only use the ones that best convey the message.

Examples of Poems That Use The Five Senses



Tynea Lewis is an editor for Family Friend Poems and helped to develop the National Poetry Month Resources for Family Friend Poems. She started her career as an elementary teacher and has had a passion for writing since she was in 1st grade.

For over a decade, she was the...

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