Imagery refers to language in a poem representing a sensory experience, including visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile, and gustatory.
Imagery uses vivid and figurative language to engage the senses and depict an object, person, scene, or feeling. The five types of imagery (visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile, and gustatory) relate to the five senses. Writers use imagery to build a specific sensory experience for readers to imagine and relate to. Literary devices such as simile and metaphor can be used to create imagery.
William Wordsworth uses imagery in “[I wandered lonely as a Cloud]” to describe a field of daffodils:
“I wandered lonely as a Cloud
That floats on high o'er Vales and Hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden Daffodils;
Beside the Lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.”
Words like “golden” appeal to the visual sense, and words like “fluttering” and “dancing” appeal to the visual and tactile senses, illustrating the appearance, and the feeling of movement.