Sethi Krishan Chand

4th paper of the day received from Ms. Anu Chatterjee on pictorial poetry which reads as under:-

Pictorial Poetry:
Taking one step forward in realm of celebrating Modern Literature


Pictorial Poetry is a treasure of wisdom which captures the mood hidden behind photographs. Photographs are expressive when it focuses on activities which can lead to transformation in the society. When poetry is resurrecting and emphasizing on feelings which cannot be explained through words, then pictorial poetry can magnify angles which remain hidden. Pictorial poetry can lead to change in outlook of literature. Thus, it is important to discuss whether pictorial poetry might help in shaping society for acknowledging its humanitarian principles.
Keywords: Poetry, Pictorial Poetry, Humanity, Society, Literature

Poets can get inspiration from photographs and photographers can find their muse in poetry. Every form of art requires certain amount of visualization along with foresightedness. Often, poetry and photography come under visual-spatial intelligence. Visual spatial intelligence focuses on a person’s ability to understand, remember, and recall spatial relations among objects, and forming vivid images to explain something lucidly. Pictorial poetry can emphasize on describing images while looking at photographs and amplifying the strengths of poetry by using photographs as a tool to make readers aware about essence of the poetry. Pictorial poetry has enormous capacity to project a poet’s feeling via using various angles to view a photograph.

Visual poetry is not just about describing vivid images in poetic form. But, photographs can help poets to explain ‘feelings with no name’. Hereby, photographs are often used as a tool of expression which gets its description from a poem. Photographs may help poets to visualize various angles which might help them in composing unique poetry which can reclaim space in contemporary literature. This new mode of composing poetry can bring literary revolution and can help in transforming essence of poetry.

Review of Literature

Johanna Drucker examined visual poetry as ‘a vocal score of tone or personality’. Visual poetry focuses on representing themes, subjects, or sentiments of words in a variety of shapes and forms. In pictorial poetry, pictures act as imagery and a poet simply describes those images in a poetic form. It is a simplified version of visual poetry which can seek reader’s attention without failing.
John Keats has been using pictorial poetry via blending poetry and visual arts. According to Sharma (2017), Keats is a pictorial artist who gave concrete shape to abstract ideas and objects. Keats’s interest in pictorial poetry developed when he studied poets like Spenser, who had pictorial appeal. Also, he found his poetic muse from several paintings of Titian, Raphael, etc. Hunt was Keats’s mentor and he guided him to appreciate pictures. Keats visited art galleries and gave shape to poems via using pictures displayed in art galleries. Thus, visualization can help in seeking inspiration and every form of art is based on visualizing and appreciating other forms of art.
The pictures of Cupid and Psyche painted by eminent painters like Raphael, Romano etc. helped him to compose his renowned work “Ode to Psyche” wherein he described mythological characters like Cupid and Psyche in his verses. In the “Ode on a Grecian Urn”, Keats presented pictures which were carved on urn. The pictorial description of ‘bold lover’, ‘fair youth’, the ‘happy boughts’ and of the
Little town by river or sea-shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel.
are transcripts which added hues to the poetic language. Thus, a poetic impression created by a pictorial poetry is ever-lasting as a poet can select significant details by looking at the pictures and bring them together to compose a poem.

By reviewing aforementioned literature, it is important to notice the impact a pictorial poetry can have on readers as pictorial poetry is about mingling images with words to explain what cannot be explained through words. Pictorial poetry can help literature to develop content which is visually powerful and effective. Pictures grab more attention when they reflect a phenomenon but these pictures are often misinterpreted as they have various angles. Thus, a poetry which is able to capture and describe pictures in a well-informed manner can transcend boundaries which may lead to reinforcement of humanity and social justice.

Analysis and Conclusion

A pictorial poetry can reform poetic forms because a picture can express itself while a reader may interpret it. But, it is difficult to understand photographs as perspectives might differ from one person to another. But, a poet can pick up an angle and weave words which can explain his/her untold story about the selected picture. Thus, pictorial poetry is an art of embracing our weaknesses and using them as our strengths to reach our destination. Pictorial poetry is similar to a life-lesson which highlights the importance of believing in our own strengths and knowing our weaknesses so that world cheers up for a leader who stands for humanity and social justice.
Any form of artistic venture helps a person to become a holistic human. Pictorial poetry can lead to change in outlook of literature and it has capability to bring transformations in our social lives. Elements of pictorial poetry can help us express our feelings in fewer words which can create an ever-lasting impact and change the discourse in literature.

A pictorial poem reflects what remains unsaid in pictures. It is about mingling strengths of two artistic ventures to compose a poem which will become a milestone in literature.

Sharma, P. (2017). Keats as a Pictorial Poet. In Literary Herald: An international peer- reviewed English journal. Accessed on 9th July, 2018 at

Poetry through the ages. (2008). Visual Poetry. Accessed on 9th July, 2018 at

Biography: Anupreeta Chatterjee is a published poet hailing from Chhattisgarh, India. She has pursued her post-graduation in Women’s Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad. Her poems have been published in various National and International anthologies and magazines like, Complexion based Discrimination, ParaSva, Queen: Global Voices of 21st century Women Writers, Deepest Obsession, Symphony of Souls, From Autumn to Spring, Ink Drift Magazine, The Quiet Letter, etc.

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