If A Picture Paints A Thousand Words, Then How Many Words Does It Takes To Paint A Picture?
This is a question that has been asked for many years. In using descriptions, metaphors, and imagery in your poetry, you give the reader a more balanced view of your feelings and emotions.
You could write a simple statement like "the river was dark against the night sky", But by rearranging a few words and changing others, you could bring a whole new depth to the write. "The river was darkened by the moonless night" Sometimes, just by doing that you have improved the flow of the poem. When using descriptive words in a write you can change the emotional pull that the reader may experience. To make a statement like "she cried", does not have the same effect on the reader as "her tears fell like rain". By addressing the depth of her pain, you have put the reader in her shoes; Therefore, the reader has no choice but to feel the pain also.
Metaphors are a good way to add life to a poem. If you were to write a poem about a senior citizen, you could write about driftwood, or perhaps sands in an hour glass. Using those things to describe the life of an ageless beauty. Or perhaps writing a poem about a vampire may be a dark poem, but could also be about the one who broke your heart. Metaphoric writes make good reading for people who want to dive a little deeper in the well and see what may lay beneath the surface.
When someone tells you that your poem had good imagery, it means that you made your write so well worded, that the person who was reading it got lost in its content. They could see the picture you were describing unfold before their very eyes. To have this kind of compliment is what we, as writers, strive to accomplish with every word we pen.
In summary, I have just a few words to add. Although I have listed several ways to give your poem body and depth, you must remember that too many descriptions can be just as lethal to a poem as too few. You must take the words and make them your own.