My soul is a scroll, smoothing itself out, fluttering in the wind…

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examples of simile, metaphor, and personificaiton in British poetry

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This week’s blog post requires that you understand the terms personification, simile, and metaphor. If you don’t know what these mean, please click on the links before you submit your comment.

Think of a certain poet, whose poetry you’ve been reading a lot lately. Does he/she use any of these forms of figurative language in his/her writing? Let’s see…

Here’s my literary challenge: find examples of these literary devices (metaphor, simile, personification) in the poems you’ve been reading (if you’re in Mrs. Sparhawk’s class, use the specific poet you’ve been assigned) and post them as comments. If you can find examples of all three, you can earn extra credit–but make sure you really KNOW the difference between each of those terms.

Here’s how your comment should look:

  1. Give the name of the poet.
  2. State the title(s) of the poem(s) in which you found the examples.
  3. Quote your example from the poem(s), using quotation marks. Don’t forget to use the / symbol whenever a line ends.
  4. State which form of figurative language the poet uses in this particular quote.
  5. Include a brief explanation of why you think that particular form of figurative language applies.
  6. If you have additional examples, include those in the same way.

Here’s an example of one done for you:

  1. My poet is Robert Browning.
  2. My example comes from “The Last Ride Together”.
  3. “My soul/Smoothed itself out, a long-cramped scroll/Freshening and fluttering in the wind…”
  4. This is an example of a metaphor because Browning says his soul is a scroll.
  5. Browning is comparing his soul to a scroll–two unlike things–without using the words “like” or “as” (which would make it a simile instead).
  6. I have no additional examples.
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20 responses »

  1. 1. My poet is Walt Whitman
    2. My example comes from “The Ox-Tamer”
    3.”See, the two with stars on thier foreheads-see, the round badies and broad backs,/How srtaight and square they stand on their legs-what fine sagacious eyes!”
    4.This is an example of personification
    5.It is comparing it’s sagacious eyes to a smart person.
    6.More examples
    7.My example comes from Beat! Beat! Drums!
    8.”Beat! beat! drums!- blow! bugles! blow!/
    Make no parley-stop for no expostulation,/
    Mind not the timid-mind not the weeper or prayer,/ Mind not the old man beseeching the young man,/Let not the child’s voice be heard, nor the mother’s entreaties,/Make even the trestles to shake the dead where they lie awaiting the hearses,/So strong you thump O terrible drums-so loud you bugles blow.”
    9. This example is a personification
    10. It is comparing shaking the dead to the music being loud.
    11.another example
    12. My example comes from ” Come up from the fields father”
    13.”Ah now the single figure to me,/Amid all teeming and wealthy Ohio with all its cities and farms,/ Sickly white in the face and dull in the head,very faint,/By the jamb of a door leans.”
    14.The example is personification
    15. Teeming and wealthy Ohio is comparing being to full of people that it’s wealthy for all the people.
    16. Another example.
    17. My example comes from ” Give me the splendid silent sun”
    18.”Give me the splendid silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling”
    19. This example is personification
    20.Silent Sun is compared to a person being silent.
    21.”Give me fresh corn and wheat,give me serene-moving animals teaching content,”
    22.Animals Teaching is compared to a teacher teaching something.

  2. 1. Edgar Lee Masters.
    2. Trainor, the Druggist.
    3.”He oxygen, she hydrogen”.
    4. This is an example of a metaphor.
    5. He is comparing two people with chemicals without the use of like or as.

  3. 1. My poet in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
    2. The poems I used is “The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls”.
    3. “But the sea, the sea in the darkness calls…”
    4. This is an example of personification because the reader/narrator is giving the darkness human characteristics.
    5. The darkness cannot call, so it must be personification.
    6. I have no other examples.

  4. 1. Stephan Crane
    2. War Is Kind
    3. A man said to the universe:/
    “Sir, I exist!”/
    “However,” replied the universe./
    4. This is a perfect example of personification because the universe replies back as if it were a human.
    5. The universe can’t talk.
    6. No other examples.

  5. 1.Marianne Moore
    2.My example comes from “Silence”
    3. “the mouse’s limp tail hanging like a shoelace from its mouth/”
    4.This would be an example of a simile beace she is comparing a mouse tail to a shoelace.
    5.She compares the two by using the word like.

  6. 1. My poet is Carl Sandburg.
    2. The poem is called “Chicago”.
    3. “Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young/ man laughs,/ Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has never/ lost a battle….
    4. This is a use of a simile
    5. This is a simile because he is comparing things using the word as.
    6. I do not have any additional examples for this journal.

    • This isn’t exactly a simile, Matt. It’s not really comparing two unlike things. Here’s an example from a famous text: “The laughter of fools is like the crackling of thorns under a pot.”

      This quote is similar to yours, but the word “like” here, compares thorns under a pot to laughter, whereas your example simply describes laughter without a particularly unusual comparison. For your effort, I’ll give you 4/5 points, but, for the record, I wouldn’t use this example on an essay test.

  7. 1. My poet is William Carlos Williams
    2. My personification example comes from the poem “April”
    3. “too many opening hearts of liac leaves,/too many, too many swollen/limp poplar tassels on the/bare branches!”
    4. This is an example of personification because it gives the human-like quality of “opening” a heart to the un-human lilac leaves.
    5. Williams is saying here that the lilacs are starting to bloom in April, and says it as if their hearts are opening.
    6. I have no other examples.

  8. 1.Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
    2.My example is from the poem “This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison”.
    3.“Comes sudden on my heart, and I am glad/As I myself were there!
    4.This is an example of a simile that the poet uses in his poem.
    5.I think that it is a simile because it uses the word as to describe two different things in the poem.
    6.I have no more additional examples.

    • I’m not 100% sure this is really a simile. It doesn’t sound like things are being compared here. Still, I will give you credit, but for future essay purposes, I wouldn’t use this example.

  9. 1.Mt poets name is E.E. Cummings
    2.I found my examples in “since feeling is first”
    3.”my blood aproves/”
    4.E.E. uses personification in this quote.
    5.I think that this ezxample is personification because it says “my blood approves” and blood can’t really approve.
    6.I have no additional eamples.

  10. 1. My peot is Ezra Pound.
    2. My example comes from “The Tree”.
    3.”I stood still and was a tree amid the wood”.
    4. This is an example of a metaphore because Ezra Pound says he is “a tree amid the wood”.
    5. Pund compares himself to a tree that knows all things around him.
    6. I have no other examples.

  11. 1.My poet is Ogden Nash.
    2.My example comes from “A Drink With Something In It”.
    3.”A yellow, a mellow Martini…”
    4.This is an example of personificaton because he says the martini is “mellow” which means calm.
    5.Nash is giving the martini human like qualities when he describes it as “mellow”.
    6.I have no other examples.

  12. 1. My poet is Maya Angelou.
    2. My example will be from the poem “The Caged Bird”.
    3. But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams / his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
    4. This is an example of personification because Angelou makes the shadow shout on a nightmare scream.
    5. Shadows can’t shout, and she made the shout come alive.
    6. nope.

  13. #1. my poet is shel silverstein
    #2. my poem is called “Shoe Talk”
    #3. He does have a tongue /And an inner soul, too.
    #4. this is an example of a metaphor because it doesn’t use the word like or as.
    #5. he is comparing a soul to the soul of a shoe by using the words inner soul and not like or as.
    #6. i have no other exaples.

    • #7. the title of the poem is hi monster and on the sixth line he says the word as so that would be a simile it says “And if his tail/Is long as this/Just think how big/The HI-MONSTER must be

      #8. the title of the poem is called yuck and in the second line it has the word as so it would be a simile and it says “I stepped in somthing yucky/As I walked by the crick

      #9. the title of the poem is a use for a moose and in the second line it has the word as so it would be a simile and it says “The antlers of a standing moose/As everybody knows

      #10.the title of the poem is stork story and on line 20 it has the word as so it would be a simile and it says “…The stork flies them back down to earth/As newborn babies again

  14. 1. My poet is Edna St. Vincent Millay.
    2. My example comes from “Renascene”.
    3.” My anguished spirit, like a bird,/Beating against my lips I heard…”
    4. This is an example of a simile because Edna St. Vincent Millay is saying that her spirit is a bird.
    5. Millay is comparing her spirit to a bird using the word “like”.
    6. I have no other examples.

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