Sensory language is the use of details from the five senses to add color and depth to writing. The word sensory comes from the Latin word sentire, meaning “to perceive, feel.” Writers use sensory words to describe a moment and what we can feel with our physical senses.
And then I remember what it was like to see snow in the early morn.
Snowflakes falling, icy roads, rustic knotty pine cabins nestled amid the Lodgepoles.
The word “rustic” in the phrase “rustic knotty pine” above, relates to rural country living, a place that is far away from the busy cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco. I see small cabin farmlands on narrow roads, and living spaces with natural colors of greens and browns. The word “knot” in the same phrase gives an idea of how the tree might feel if the reader touched its surface. The tree is rough, scarred by the limbs that once used to be present but removed as the pine began to branch higher.
Let’s look at Winter Time poem by Mary Ryers. Here’s another example of how sensory words can describe and paint and image of a moment.
Icy fingers, icy toes,
Bright red cheeks and bright red nose.
Watch the snowflakes as they fall,
Try so hard to count them all.
Build a snowman way up high,
See if he can touch the sky.
Snow forts, snowballs, angels, too,
In the snow, so white and new.
Slip and slide and skate so fast.
Wintertime is here at last.
Use sensory words to describe and event in your life, a significant occurrence such as a social gathering or activity.
DOWNLOAD: SENSORY DETAILS ORGANIZER
- Use a sensory details organizer to create a list of various adjectives related to the five senses: taste, touch, smell, sight, and sounds.
- Use a thesaurus to gather similar sensory words and add color to your writing.
- Your writing can be in poetry form or as a descriptive paragraph.
Categories: Literary Devices