Metaphor and Simile

Metaphor and Simile


The essence of human language is that it puts one ‘thing’ (a word)

in the place of another ‘thing’ (an object or idea). Language uses words as

images of things. Metaphor extends this remove. Metaphors are images of images.”   [Based on extract from “Poetry The Basics” by Jeffrey Wainwright.]

Poets rarely call a spade a spade

Of reality, perhaps they are afraid?

A beach thus becomes a silver strand

Never just an open stretch of sand

A tree is not a tree unless it towers

A sea of colour must replace the flowers

A hill now rises to become a pinnacle

All descriptions are thus rendered lyrical

Thus poets use a mighty armoury

Forging lines with melody and harmony

Not only employing phrases metaphoric

Their cause promoted by the use of rhetoric

Like a chef concocting meals spectacular

Poets eschew common words as vernacular

Exotic terms spice up the flavour of their verses

Flamboyant images their deepest mood expresses

To ensure the poet’s thoughts our hearts may reach

Much use is made of all those ‘figures of speech’

So that not only simile and metaphor appear

Hyperbole, irony, and alliteration are felt dear

Some poets who feel even more adventurous

Espouse the pun and paradox, as their own preference

And onomatopoeia helps if they must make a noise

But understatement’s best for those with poise

Thus in their endeavours, pictures of our world to paint

Poets loath to exercise restraint

In their attempt that meaning be conveyed

They rarely ever call a spade a spade!

Ken Fisher

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