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World of Poetry. Figurative Language By MCT and Mrs. M. Write a sentence describing each situation using a simile. 1 . Sue is wearing a black-and-white sweater her grandmother knitted for her. 2. Jack hadn’t eaten all day. He is at a buffet and has loaded his plate with food.

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world of poetry

World of Poetry

Figurative Language

By MCT and Mrs. M

write a sentence describing each situation using a simile
Write a sentence describing each situation using a simile.

1. Sue is wearing a black-and-white sweater her grandmother knitted for her.

2. Jack hadn’t eaten all day. He is at a buffet and has loaded his plate with food.

3. It is a beautiful day. You are in a restaurant overlooking the river watching the sailboats.

4. You are in a crowded elevator that has stalled.

figures of speech t p s
Figures of Speech T/P/S
  • What makes poetry different from prose?
    • Control of sound (think about your monologues)
    • Different way of thinking and talking about the world
  • How is a scientist’s language different from a poet’s?
    • Straightforward, declarative, passive voice, eliminates ambiguity
creative comparisons
Creative Comparisons
  • Chew on this:
    • How would you describe the feeling you had last week when the storm occurred suddenly at the end of the day?
    • It can be difficult to describe accurately using simple terms, especially if you had fear and joy at the same time.
    • Poets know that one of the best ways to reveal the nature of something is to COMPARE it to something else!
creative comparisons1
Creative Comparisons

Someone I loved came to visit me.

My heart is like a singing bird whose nest is in a watered shoot – Christina Rosetti

  • What feelings do you recognize here?
  • Does the first sentence capture those emotions?
the filter effect
The FILTER Effect
  • A comparison can act as a kind of filter, screening out everything else and zooming in on the exact thing the writer means to say.

The apparition of these faces

In the crowd;

Petals on a wet, black bough.

-Ezra Pound

That’s the ENTIRE poem. Is it precise?

simile vs metaphor
Simile vs. Metaphor
  • Simile: A comparison expressed directly, using like or as.
  • How could you make Ezra Pound’s poem a simile? Would it be more or less effective?
  • Metaphor: not stated directly as a comparison; instead, it simply states that something IS the thing it’s being compared to.
  • Ezra Pound’s poem is not a metaphor because it avoids the word IS.
emily s simile
Emily’s Simile

The day came slow, till five o’clock,

Then sprang before the hills

Like hindered rubies, or the light

A sudden musket spills.

The purple could not keep the east,

The sunrise shook from fold,

Like breaths of topaz, packed a night,

The lady just unrolled.

-Emily Dickinson, 19th Century American Poet

let s try a nuther one
Let’s Try A ‘Nuther One

How would you explain the effect of this simile?

Why did Dickinson choose to compare being a public figure to a frog?

I’m Nobody! Who are you?

Are you– Nobody—too?

Then there’s a pair of us?

Don’t tell! They’ll advertise—you know!

How dreary—to be– Somebody!

How public- like a Frog—

To tell one’s name—the livelong June—

To an admiring Bog!

whoa that s epic
Whoa- That’s EPIC!
  • Extended, elaborate simile that compares two very different things.

Just as a great wave upon the salt sea is forced by the fury of the strong wind

Into a mighty swell, and rushes down upon the deck of a ship

And engulfs it—so the Trojans,

With a loud war cry, drove their

Chariots over the defensive wall

To the sterns of the Greeks’ ships. – Homer, The Illiad

find the metaphor
Find the Metaphor:

The fog comes

On little cat feet.

It sits looking

Over harbor and city

On silent haunches

And then moves on.

-Carl Sandburg

find the metaphor1
Find the Metaphor:

O love is the crooked thing.

There is nobody wise enough

To find out all that is in it,

For he would be thinking of love

Till the stars had run away

And the shadows eaten the moon.

-William Butler Yeats, Ye Olde Romantic Poet

analyze this
Analyze This:
  • What is the crooked thing in the previous passage? Why is this metaphor chosen? What tone does it convey? What one thing is it focusing on?
oh snap
Oh, Snap!

Earth, receive an honored guest;

William Yeats is laid to rest:

Let the Irish vessel lie

Emptied of its poetry.

-W.H. Auden


Comparison in which something

that is NOT a person is given human


“The Moon and the Yew Tree”

The moon is no door. It is a face in its own right.

White as a knuckle and terribly upset.

It drags the sea after it like a dark crime.

- Sylvia Plath

How could you express Plath’s comparison of the moon in a simile?

what is being personified
What is being personified?

I am silver and exact.

I have no preconceptions.

Whatever I see I swallow immediately

Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.

I am not cruel, only truthful—

-Sylvia Plath

Choose an object in this room and write a comparison personifying that object. Share with a partner to see if they can guess what it is!

  • Poetic device of addressing someone or something not present, as though it were present.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?

Sometime whoever seeks abroad may find

Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,

Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wing;

Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep.

John Keats, “To Autumn”

  • Expression that seems to contradict itself, but in fact, does not.
  • Something about the contradiction reveals a TRUTH.
  • Adjective + Noun that don’t seem to go
  • Ex: crisis management, elementary calculus, good grief….can you think of more?
  • Many, but not all, are humorous.

Good-night, good-night!

parting is such sweet sorrow

That I shall say good-night

till it be morrow.

-Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet