Analyze the use of sensory language in "Teenage Sky" by Rona Adshead.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The sensory image is a detail or visual picture through words that "draws upon any of the five senses." Adshead's poem is filled with the sensory images that are reflected in the natural world.  An example of this is when Adshead describes the morning horizon as "Daubed with lipstick streaks of sunrise."  The "lipstick streaks" is a sensory image appealing to the sense of sight and touch, as one can see and almost feel the presence of lipstick and its smooth effect on the morning horizon.  "Scarves of mist" is another sensory image that helps to illuminate what the breaking of morning looks like to the eye.

When the morning breaks, Adshead describes it as pushing away the "anorexic crescent moon."  This example of sensory detail helps to evoke the physical feeling of what anorexia looks like, the thin and gaunt moon being ushered away with ease by the break of the day. With the "defiant shower" and "sulky pout," the poet is able to continue to draw upon the sensory imagery of experience in adolescents and teens, connecting such demonstrative displays with the natural world.  Adshead's ability to connect the experience of a day and its changes with the sensibility of the teenager can only happen through the use of sensory imagery, details that are able to evoke a stronger picture by linking it to our experiences and senses.