In order to draw some possible ways of literature-teaching for today`s students from the one of the most famous traditional culture, the interaction of poem and painting, this paper discusses the roles "graphic image" of painting played in the ancient interactive process of two genres. "Graphic image" in this paper is a modernized term of "xing 形" usually translated into "form." It is different from "xiang 象," a kind of higher image inexplicable by the ordinary eyes, in that "graphic image, xing" is an lower image to recognize easily without any special capability. Although in the area of East Asian aesthetics especially since the Sung dynasty "graphic images" of painting or forms of outward appearance has been disregarded as an insignificant thing but with regarding ideas or interior mind as significant one, this paper focuses on the actual functions of "graphic image" in making and understanding the two genres, poetry and paintings in the pre-modern period. During, or at least until the Tang dynasty, graphic image of painting performed an effective conveyance of the religious or didactic books, by illustrating the narrative stories and showing the subject clearly. This conveyal function of graphic image was recognized as a valuable one at that time. Since the Sung dynasty, however, the scholars suggested that painting ought to show ideas, or yi 意, originally categorized as the contents literature can show. The Sung scholars dismissed representational skills by professional masters as "form"-likeness, proposing to abandon the form on the painting after realization of the ideas in it. In fact, however, painting form or the graphic image of painting actively helped to convey the poetic ideas. Graphic images visualized the verbal or mental imagery and metaphor, the important idea or the subject of a poem. Lots of scholar-amature painters actually employed this function of graphic image to express their poetic subject effectively. More powerful function of graphic image of painting is to manipulate scholars` purely literary activities of imagination and understanding of poems or any literary works. The change of graphic images for one poem, for instance, indicates the chronicled change of literary responses in concrete ways, and the changed graphic images must influence on the literary imagination and creations. Today`s student can understand the roles of graphic image played in the literary activities, and could tell or show his/her own graphic image out of reading any literary works, or make classmates show their graphic images after making them read his/her literary creation.