Poetry Writing Exercise #7: Simile & Metaphor

Discussion related to the topic Poetry Writing Exercise #7: Simile & Metaphor

Forum : All About Writing : Poetry Writing Exercise #7: Simile & Metaphor

Douglas
Posted at: Jul 4, 2010 at 5:36 AM 
If poetry was all about meter and rhyme, it would be more science than art, and there is definitely more to poetry than that! The art of poetry is in expressing ideas in a way that is creative, and grabs people's attention. Three of the tools in your toolbox are: similes, metaphors, and personification. (Personification is a specific kind of metaphor, but we'll get to that in a minute).

Simile: A simile is a figure of speech comparing two unlike things, often introduced with the words "like" or "as". In my most recent poem Torn from the Soul, my poems are compared to a self-portrait, and also to a statue.

Metaphor: A figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity. (Doug's paraphrase: it's a simile without "like" or "as"). In Cadillac Mountain Sunrise, I describe the sun as though it is a knife. I don't say it is "like a knife"; the reader is left to assume that this is a figure of speech, and the sun is not literally a knife.

Personification: treating abstractions or inanimate objects as human, that is, giving them human attributes, powers, or feelings. I use personification in this poem, in which a mountain and the sun are described as though they are a man and woman in love: Sunset over Kearsarge North

The Exercise
Whether or not you worry about meter and rhyme for this exercise is entirely up to you. Each day create either a simile, a metaphor, or personification. Be sure to try your hand at each before the week is over!

Note: You don't even need to try to incorporate your simile/metaphor/personification into a larger poem if you don't want to.

Douglas
Posted at: Jul 4, 2010 at 5:40 AM 
I wrote this poem yesterday; the first two lines are a simile about similes, and the second two lines are a metaphor about metaphors:

Meta Metaphor

Here's a bit of personification:

The traffic light turned his baleful, blinking eye upon his unruly students and stopped them in their tracks.

The traffic light is described as though it was a teacher, with a glaring eye, and the traffic is described as his students.

R. Wesley Lovil
Posted at: Jul 4, 2010 at 7:50 AM 
Like the sun he arose each day at dawn
His passion radiated heat to all who were near

Douglas
Posted at: Jul 4, 2010 at 9:38 AM 
STARS

Simile: like beacons on a rocky coast, the stars gave light to my path.

Metaphor: Haphazard sequins scattered across a velvety cloth

Personification: laughing, the sky's myriad eyes twinkled at me in the night.

Douglas
Posted at: Jul 5, 2010 at 2:58 AM 
Quote
Like the sun he arose each day at dawn
His passion radiated heat to all who were near

This one is interesting; it's a simile, but it's also reverse-personification - you're comparing a person to an inanimate object instead of vice-versa. I wonder if there's a name for that.

Douglas
Posted at: Jul 5, 2010 at 3:08 AM 
Mosquitoes

Metaphor: Unwary Gullivers among the Brobdingnagians.

Personification: flitting with earnest curiosity about my head, whining, "Why? Why? Why?"

Simile: (two similes, actually)

Like Dracula of old
These parasites so bold
Tenaciously grab hold;
Like miners in a hole,
Through heat or cruel cold,
They dig 'til they strike gold.

R. Wesley Lovil
Posted at: Jul 5, 2010 at 5:26 AM 
A Bag of Mixed Metaphors:

I began to call her Ben and Jerry after she said,
"We could stand here and talk until the cows turn blue."
She mixed her metaphors as an ice cream man mixes flavors
Flavors I wouldn't eat with a ten-foot pole.


Douglas
Posted at: Jul 6, 2010 at 3:50 AM 
Dragonfly Metaphor: playful helicopters on a mission to search and destroy.
~Edited by Douglas, Jul 6, 2010 at 3:50 AM

R. Wesley Lovil
Posted at: Jul 6, 2010 at 7:15 AM 
That robber of sleep, the morning sun
Stole my sleep and away he did run
I may be awake but tired I am still
I may suffer today but my night was a thrill

R. Wesley Lovil
Posted at: Jul 7, 2010 at 5:26 AM 
That nasty curb just laying in wait
It seemed level to me as I took the bait
"Who tripped me," I screamed as I lay on the ground
But that ill-mannered curb never made a sound


R. Wesley Lovil
Posted at: Jul 8, 2010 at 5:01 AM 
Like a thorn stuck deep in my side
She kept pushing it deeper producing strife
Causing more pain than I could abide
Until I plucked her out from my life

Douglas
Posted at: Jul 8, 2010 at 6:14 AM 
He dared me to, that's all that I can say;
He stood there resolute, defiantly,
And wordlessly he spoke, in his own way;
His message of adventure called to me.
And so one morning, I set out to seek
A way to climb that rugged mountain peak.

R. Wesley Lovil
Posted at: Jul 9, 2010 at 5:36 AM 
I travel these streets and they are meaner than ever
They never think of me and I care not for them
To survive these streets you have to be clever
For if you're not clever you'll take it on the chin

Douglas
Posted at: Jul 9, 2010 at 6:27 AM 

R. Wesley Lovil
Posted at: Jul 10, 2010 at 4:33 AM 
The moon and me took a ride in my car
I could see her shine, she sat close to me
She told me if I be fresh I won't get far
I had to be wary I didn't want her to flee
I told her oh no that's not how I act
She said you better not or I'll hide in a cloud
Then I gave her a kiss and she gave me a smack
And as she vowed, she left me alone in the crowd

Douglas
Posted at: Jul 10, 2010 at 5:47 AM 
Forum : All About Writing : Poetry Writing Exercise #7: Simile & Metaphor

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