Mental Imagery and Poetry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Poetry evokes mental imagery in its readers. But how is mental imagery precisely related to poetry? This article provides a systematic treatment. It clarifies two roles of mental imagery in relation to poetry—as an effect generated by poetry and as an efficient means for understanding and appreciating poetry. The article also relates mental imagery to the discussion on the ‘heresy of paraphrase’. It argues against the orthodox view that the imagistic effects of poetry cannot be captured by prosaic paraphrase, but points to features of poetry that can shape aspects of mental imagery that are liable to be lost in paraphrase.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-34
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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