You are on page 1of 11



Similes and metaphors are both used to compare one thing to something else. While similes and metaphors are very similar, there is one key difference between the two: similes always use the words "like" or "as" to make their comparison, while metaphors lack these two key words. If we write a comparison between two things and omit the word "like" then we are using a Metaphor. The metaphor goes a step further than the simile and instead of asking us to picture one thing as being like another, we are asked to picture one thing as being another. We are describing one thing as if it were actually another. Metaphors are not only use in poetry but can be found in all types of writing, metaphors enliven ordinary language, it create new meanings, they allow you to write about feelings, thoughts, things, experiences.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Desire "Where true Love burns Desire is Love's pure flame; It is the reflex of our earthly frame, That takes its meaning from the nobler part, And but translates the language of the heart."

Coleridge uses a flame as a metaphor for love to convey the burning desire and pain that love can bring.

A simile is a figure of speech that directly compares two different things, usually by employing the words "like" or "as" also, but less commonly, "if", or "than". A simile differs from a metaphor in that the latter compares two unlike things by saying that the one thing is the other thing. Example "The water is like the sun." "The water is like the sun" is an example of simile because water and the sun have little in common, and yet they're being compared to one another. The "is" is also part of what makes this stanza an example of simile.

Simile in poetry : Dream Deferred By Langston Hughes What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry upLike a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a soreAnd then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar overlike a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode? A Love Poem Your love is like a blanket that keeps me toasty warm. Your love is like a shield that protects me from all harm. Your love is like a chocolate bar, velvet-smooth and sweet Or like some comfy house slippers that hug my tired feet Your heartbeats like a lullabye that beckons me to sleep You permeate my memories Romance from days long past You underwrite my future with a love thats made to last I need you more than words can say My heart is sure and true Im yours until the end of time Like, baby, I love you

Personification in poetry is the process of giving human traits or characteristics to a non-human object or idea. The form of poetry generally involves using figurative language that is, words and phrases with a meaning other than the standard definition to convey an idea or emotion. Using personification in poetry helps the reader develop a connection between a distant object or idea and feel empathy or sympathy for that idea or object. Poets often use personification to help the reader relate to the concept being presented, and to give a more complete understanding of a difficult concept to comprehend. An example of personification may involve giving human traits to a tree, which is inanimate. This personification in poetry may read something like this: "The tree of life can smile upon us all." This line is written in iambic pentameter, which is a type of lyrical meter very commonly used in poetry. Most poetry, in fact, is written in some form of meter and often with rhyme, though some poems are not confined by these techniques. In the example above, personification in poetry is used by giving the tree a human trait: the tree smiles. In reality, of course, a tree cannot smile because it has no lips or mouth, but in this case, the tree can smile in a figurative sense: it can create happiness or at the very least life in all things, according to this line. Let see, personification in poetry

Lunch by Denise Rodgers I'd love to take a poem to lunch or treat it to a wholesome brunch of fresh cut fruit and apple crunch. I'd spread it neatly on the cloth beside a bowl of chicken broth and watch a mug of root beer froth.

I'd feel the words collect the mood, the taste and feel of tempting food popped in the mouth and slowly chewed, and get the smell of fresh baked bread that sniffs inside and fills our head


Most figures of speech cast up a picture in your mind. These pictures created or suggested by the poet are called 'images'. To participate fully in the world of poem, we must understand how the poet uses image to convey more than what is actually said or literally meant. We speak of the pictures evoked in a poem as 'imagery'. Imagery refers to the "pictures" which we perceive with our mind's eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin, and through which we experience the "duplicate world" created by poetic language. Imagery evokes the meaning and truth of human experiences not in abstract terms, as in philosophy, but in more perceptible and tangible forms. This is a device by which the poet makes his meaning strong, clear and sure. The poet uses sound words and words of color and touch in addition to figures of speech. As well, concrete details that appeal to the reader's senses are used to build up images. The Shell by James Stephens and imagine the scene he describes The Shell by James Stephens And straightway like a bell Came low and clear The slow, sad murmur of the distant seas, .............................. And in the hush of waters was the sound Of pebbles rolling round, For ever rolling with a hollow sound. And bubbling sea-weeds as the waters go Swish to and fro Their long, cold tentacles of slimy grey.

What are the uses of an image? Understanding the use of imagery in poetry is essential for a comprehension of the overall meaning. Images are essentially word-pictures and they usually work by a method of association. This means that the images are created by associations that we make as readers within the linguistic context of the text. For example, the word "red" immediately creates an image or picture of the color red in our minds. This color is associated or has connotations with other feelings or images, like anger, and this increases the depth of the poem. The important thing to remember is that the images are an instrument that the poet uses to express his or her intentions or feelings. Understanding the use of images means understanding the essential meaning of the poem. Think of images as useful "tools" that the poet uses in order to reveal or explain the meaning that is in the poem.

Symbolism can give a literary work more richness and color and can make the meaning of the work deeper. Symbols that usually cast a spell over the readers and are often used to enhance poetry in motion. Symbols that create colors, waves, movements, transition, and enhance a sheer poetry into a form of art. The function of symbolism in poetry has been to hide the true meaning of a poem. The beauty of poetry is often accredited to the ingenuity of its symbolism. For example, a lilies flower maybe used as an allusion to purity or virginity! Symbols work like images that have meaning added to them. A rose is just a flower, until it is one of a bunch given as a present. Then it signifies love, passionate if the rose is red, chaste if it is white. When it appears in a poem by William Blake The Sick Rose

O Rose, thou art sick. The invisible worm That flies in the night In the howling storm

Has found out thy bed Of crimson joy, And his dark secret love Does thy life destroy. This poem appears to be about a rose and an aphid or a caterpillar, but even a nongardener knows that aphids are not invisible. Once the worm is seen as an abstraction, the rose is too, and it can be interpreted according to conventional associations such as love, faith, hope, tender emotions, youthful optimism; the list can extend as far as the reader's imagination and ingenuity can take it. Another symbols : An owl symbolises wisdom The phoenix symbolises rebirth The dove symbolises peace Fire represents anger or safety

Poetry analysis is the process of investigating a poem's form, content, and history in an informed way, with the aim of heightening one's own and others' understanding and appreciation of the work. Analysis means literally picking a poem apart--looking at elements such as imagery, metaphor, poetic language, rhyme scheme, and so on--in order to see how they all work together to produce the poem's meaning. By looking at a poem in terms of its elements, one decodes the poem. This guide is to help readers learn what to look for and what questions to ask in decoding a poem. Example Poetry Analysis by Sara Patrick Auto Wreck by Karl Shapiro Its quick soft silver bell beating, beating, And down the dark one ruby flare Pulsing out red light like an artery, The ambulance at top speed floating down Past beacons and illuminated clocks

Wings in a heavy curve, dips down, And brakes speed, entering the crowd. The doors leap open, emptying light; Stretchers are laid out, the mangled lifted And stowed into the little hospital.

Then the bell, breaking the hush, tolls once. And the ambulance with its terrible cargo Rocking, slightly rocking, moves away, As the doors, an afterthought, are closed.

We are deranged, walking among the cops Who sweep glass and are large and composed. One is still making notes under the light.

One with a bucket douches ponds of blood Into the street and gutter. One hangs lanterns on the wrecks that cling, Empty husks of locusts, to iron poles.

Our throats were tight as tourniquets, Our feet were bound with splints, but now, Like convalescents intimate and gauche, We speak through sickly smiles and warn With the stubborn saw of common sense, The grim joke and the banal resolution.

The traffic moves around with care, But we remain, touching a wound That opens to our richest horror. Already old, the question Who shall die? Becomes unspoken Who is innocent? For death in war is done by hands; Suicide has cause and stillbirth, logic; And cancer, simple as a flower, blooms.

But this invites the occult mind, Cancels our physics with a sneer, And spatters all we knew of denouement Across the expedient and wicked stones.

1. Poem published: 1941 2. Facts about Karl Shapiro: a. Karl Shapiro was born in Baltimore, Maryland on 10 November 1913 b. Shapiro was Jewish, and felt rejected by students at the University of Virginia (1932-1933) who, Shapiro claims, regarded themselves as superior to Jews. c. Due to his self-consciousness about his background, he thought of changing his name to Karl Camden, to sound more Germanic. Although he never changed his

last name, he did legally change the spelling of his first name from Carl to the more Germanic Karl. 3. If I could ask Shapiro any question, I would want to know what inspired him to write Auto Wreck. Was he ever in a major car crash or perhaps did he witness one? 4. Physical analysis: word count: 259; lines: 39; stanzas: 3 5. Topic: A car crash 6. Summary: The poem starts with a description of an ambulance rushing to the scene of a crash, and hurriedly gathering up the victims and rushing them away. The second and third stanzas explore the emotions felt after the car crash from the perspective of a witness. 7. Theme: A major theme from Auto Wreck is death. The author is exploring the random and illogical nature of mortality by contrasting the car crash with other forms of death (war, suicide, stillbirth, cancer) that are more understandable. 8. Mood: gloomy, reflective 9. Auto Wreck is a lyric poem because it gives a description of an event and reflections on it, but does not tell a story. 10. Personal reflections: I selected this poem because of the realistic images and how a reader can vividly picture the accident as if he/she was there to see it. Its a morbid poem, but the theme is relevant, since everyone will die some day and no one knows if it will be sudden, like a car crash, or come on slowly like cancer. My favorite line is, One with a bucket douches ponds of blood. It refers to the police man washing away the exaggerated ponds of blood from the accident. I know this line is unpleasant, but I like it because it so powerfully displays the shock of the onlooker. 11. Auto Wreck reminds me of John Donnes poem, Death Be Not Proud because they both deal with the themes of mortality. However, they are very different poems since Donnes poem denies deaths power and mocks death, while Shapiro seems perplexed by the unpredictableness of death by car crashes. 12. Confusing passage: Im not sure I understand this passage: We speak through sickly smiles and warn / With the stubborn saw of common sense, / The grim joke and the banal resolution. 13. Vocabulary: a. douche: (verb) here it means to wash away with water b. convalescent: (noun) a patient who is recovering from an illness or the effects of medical treatment

c. gauche: (adjective) lacking grace or tact in social situations; socially awkward d. banal: (adjective) boringly ordinary and lacking in originality; dull; unoriginal e. occult: (adjective) not capable of being understood by ordinary human beings f. denouement: (noun) a final part of a story in which everything is made clear and no questions or surprises remain 14. Poetic Devices: a. Rhyme Scheme: None b. Alliteration: soft, silver; bell, beating; bell, breaking; down, dark; light, like; dips, down; tight, tourniquets; sickly, smiles; stubborn, saw c. Repetition: beating, beating; floating down, dips down; rocking, slight- ly rocking d. Imagery: Pulsing out red light like an artery; One with a bucket douch- es ponds of blood; simple as a flower, blooms; stretchers are laid out the mangled lifted e. Personification: none f. Parallel Structure: One is still..., One with a bucket..., One hangs...; Our throats were tight..., Our feet were bound...; And cancer..., And spatters...; Who shall die, Who is innocent g. Hyperbole: ponds of blood h. Allusions: none i. Enjambment: The entire poem uses enjambment. Here is an example from lines 28-30: The traffic moves around with care, / But we remain, touching a wound / That opens to our richest horror. j. Onomatopoeia: silver bell beating, beating k. Simile: like convalescents innocent and gauche, red light like an artery, throats tight as tourniquets, cancer, simple as a flower l. Metaphor: the stubborn saw of common sense; lanterns are described as empty husks of locusts m. Irony: grim joke n. Oxymoron: grim joke o. Refrain: none p. Symbolism: light

15. Effect: Shapiro uses similes and metaphors to emphasize the fantasy-like and wild setting of the auto wreck. He describes the light as Pulsing out like an artery, contrasting the red light emitted from an ambulance to the blood of an artery. The idea that a light is spurted out like blood is abstract and bizarre. In addition to that simile, Shapiro describes the wreckage as Empty husks locust- like in the devastation they cause. This depiction of the auto wreck is extrava- gant and almost unreal. Using figurative language, Shapiro reinforces the theme of death as being bizarre and perplexing.