Are great poets restricted to imagery?

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While great poets tend to rely on imagery, which is concrete description using the five senses, and are often considered great because they use images in ways that stick with us, they are not restricted to using imagery.

Great poets often use techniques such as rhyming to help us remember a poem. Alliteration, or using the same consonant more than once in a line of poetry, is another common technique. The poet Gerard Manley Hopkins uses this frequently, such as in his poem "God's Grandeur" in which the greatness of God is conveyed through lines such as "shining like shook foil," which stick in our minds because of the repeated "sh" sound.

Other great poets, such as TS Eliot, use more abstract images, which do not rely on the fives senses. In "Burnt Norton," for example, he writes of time present, time past and time future, depending on repetition of the abstract term time to build meaning. Likewise, poet James Emanuel calls jazz "a four letter word," saying it is sexy and cerebral. These are general, abstract terms that may evoke images but are not themselves specific, concrete images. 

Great poets tend to break rules and find new and creative ways to convey thoughts, and thus are not restricted to imagery. 

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