Metaphor Examples for Writers

Last Updated: March 12, 2024

Metaphor Examples for Writers

Have you ever experienced a heightened desire to express what your heart wants to express by means of writing? Letting your emotions run through the ink of your pen can relieve your heart from emotional stress induced by abused, uncontrollable feelings (supreme gaiety or sheer sorrow). With the help of speech examples, writers find expressing their emotions easier and allow the reader to relate at the same time become educated as their perspectives and understandings toward certain things or matters are broadened.

One of these figures of speech that are commonly used to suffice the uncertain hunger that remains unrealized of a writer’s heart are metaphors. Unlike similes, metaphors samples do not make use of the words “as” and “like” when putting two entirely different instances or things together. Metaphors can be found in literary works like songs, novels, poems, short stories, essay samples, and other written literary works. As a matter of fact, we use metaphors when conversing with our friends, families, teachers, coworkers, and strangers almost on a regular basis, though it is not commonly noticed. Check the various literary masterpieces below or famous lines written by the famous writers over from different eras, and together we’ll identify the simple metaphors and dissect their meaning.

Sarah Kay’s Spoken Poetry: Postcards and Tooth Brush to the Bicycle Tire


I had already fallen in love with far too many postage stamps
When you appeared on my doorstep wearing nothing but a postcard promise.
No, appear is the wrong word.
Is there a word for sucker punching someone in the heart?

Is there word for when you’re sitting at the bottom of a roller coaster and you realize that the climb is coming, that you know what the climb means, that you can already feel the flip in your stomach from the fall before you’ve even moved?
Is there a word for that?
There should be.

You can only fit so many words in a postcard.
Only so many in a phone call, only so many into space before you forget that words are sometimes used for things other than filling emptiness.
It is hard to build a body out of words – I have tried.
We have both tried.

Instead of lying your head against my chest, I tell you about the boy who lives downstairs from me.
Who stays up all night long practicing his drum set.
The neighbors have complained.
They have busy days tomorrow, but he keeps on thumping through the night convinced, I think, that practice makes perfect.

Instead of holding my hand, you tell me about the sandwich you made for lunch today.
How the pickles fit so perfectly against the lettuce.
Practice does not make perfect.
Practice makes permanent.

Repeat the same mistakes over and over and you don’t get any closer to Carnegie Hall, even I know that.
Repeat the same mistakes over and over and you don’t get any closer! You never get any closer.

Is there a word for the moment you win tug of war?
When the weight gives and all that extra rope comes tumbling towards you.
How even though you’ve won you still wind up with muddy knees and scratches on your hands.
Is there a word for that?
I wish there was.

I would have said it when we were finally alone together on your couch, neither one of us with anything left to say.
Still now, I send letters into space.
Hoping that some mailman somewhere will track you down and recognize you from the descriptions in my poems.
That he will place the stack of them in your hands and tell you
“There is a girl who still writes you. She doesn’t know how not to.”

Tooth Brush to the Bicycle Tire

They told me that I was meant for the cleaner life.
That you would drag me through the mud.
They said that you would tread all over me.
That they could see right through you.
That you were full of hot air.
That I would always be chasing,
Always watching you disappear after sleeker models.
That it would be a vicious cycle.
But I know better.
I know about your rough edges
and I have seen your perfect curves.
I will fit into whatever spaces you let me.
If loving you means getting dirty, bring on the grime.

I will leave this porcelain home behind.
I’m used to twice a day relationships
but with you, I’ll take all the time.
And I know we live in different worlds,
and we’re always really busy,
but in my dreams, you spin around me so fast
I always wake up dizzy.
So, maybe one day you’ll grow tired of the road
and roll on back to me.
And when I blink my eyes into the morning,
your smile will be the only one I see.

Sara Kay’s poems are famous for vividly painting her heart’s secrets by comparing them to things or the qualities of things or circumstances. The way she uses two objects in her poem Tooth Brush to the Bicycle Tire forces readers or her audience to keep on listening and know how two different things can relate to human experiences. Her poem Postcard designs tell us that postcards contain words which fill the emptiness we hide from others. It also teaches us how there should only be a word for feelings or circumstances for there is only so much space in a postcard. The object postcard is used to write not “about” the recipient but the recipient himself or herself. The lines “It is hard to build a body out of words – I have tried.” and “Still now, I send letters into space. Hoping that some mailman somewhere will track you down and recognize you from the descriptions in my poems.” tells the readers and the audience how millions of words are not enough to make a body.

Buddy Wakefield’s Poem: We Were Emergencies

We can stick anything into the fog and make it look like a ghost.
But tonight let us not become tragedies.
We are not funeral homes
with propane tanks in our windows
lookin’ like cemeteries.
Cemeteries are just the Earth’s way of not letting go.
Let go.
Tonight, poets, turn your ridiculous wrists so far backwards
the razor blades in your pencil tips
can’t get a good angle on all that beauty inside.
Step into this
with your airplane parts
move forward
and repeat after me with your heart:
I no longer need you to fuck me as hard as I hated myself.
Make love to me
like you know I am better than the worst thing I ever did.
Go slow.
I’m new to this,
but I have seen nearly every city from a rooftop
without jumping.
I have realized that the moon
did not have to be full for us to love it,
that we are not tragedies
stranded here beneath it,
that if my heart
really broke
every time I fell from love
I’d be able to offer you confetti by now.
But hearts don’t break, y’all,
they bruise and get better.
We were never tragedies.
We were emergencies.
You call 9 – 1 – 1.
Tell them I’m havin’ a fantastic time.

Buddy Wakefield’s We Were Emergencies is rich in metaphors. The line “But tonight let us not become tragedies. We are not funeral homes with propane tanks in our windows lookin’ like cemeteries. Cemeteries are just the Earth’s way of not letting go. Let go.” is a comparison between of funeral homes or cemeteries and experiences of people whose relationships did not work out. The idea of cemeteries or funeral homes makes us think that burying what has ended does not make us forget what had been since burying something inside you makes it still a part of you. The lines “We were never tragedies. We were emergencies.” convinces the addressee that there is still a faint hope for it to endure the ravage of time and then recover no matter how slow the process would be.

William Shakespeare’s Sonnets: Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds and Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day

Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me prov’d,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.

Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day

Summer's Day
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
The two sonnets above are one of Shakespeare’s globally renowned masterpieces for the vivid images that are painted using metaphors and other figures of speech. Sonnets are used for aggrandizing something and Shakespeare did just that. Metaphors and similes can be easily spotted every line.

The two sonnets above are one of Shakespeare’s globally renowned masterpieces for the vivid images that are painted using metaphors and other figures of speech. Sonnets are used for aggrandizing something and Shakespeare did just that. Metaphors or similes can be easily spotted every line.

Oscar Wilde’s Short Story: The Nightingale and the Rose


Oscar Wilde’s The Nightingale and the Rose is rich in metaphors and other figurative languages. A lot of critical analysis that uses different literary analysis theories to analyze the masterpiece objectively. Theoretical views have been proposed but no one really knows how the short story came to be. Nevertheless, it has been recognized globally due to the metaphors and personifications that is highly relevant to some events in our lives.

The story begins with a young student in absolute despair for his life is made wretched due to the absence of a red rose in his garden. The young student is a representation of a youthful desperation for love. He has perceived that love is the only thing to suffice his life desires for he claimed to have read all the writings of wise men’s writings and secrets of philosophy. Yet for a love that can only happen when a condition is sufficed, he cried for there was no hope in it. Upon having observed the cry of the young student, the nightingale then declared him as a “true” lover. Some literary theories take the Nightingale as someone who adores the boy so much to the point it can be considered love– the kind of love that is not meant to be. The line “What I sing of he suffers: what is joy to me, to him is pain.” clearly suggests the latter. A lot of people are too familiar with such a circumstance as this and take actions as the nightingale has in the story.

The Nightingale flies all over the garden and looked for trees that bear the reddest of roses. Upon finding the tree that bears red roses, the tree delivered a grave news for “… the winter has chilled my veins, and the frost has nipped my buds, and the storm has broken my branches, and I shall have no roses at all this year.“. Fortunately, there was a way for a single rose to be made. The way was too grave that the tree dared not speak of it, though the beans were spilled when the nightingale claimed she was not afraid. The condition is far too much for a red rose to blossom. “Death is a great price to pay for a red rose,” cried the Nightingale, “and Life is very dear to all. It is pleasant to sit in the green wood, and to watch the Sun in his chariot of gold, and the Moon in her chariot of pearl. Sweet is the scent of the hawthorn, and sweet are the bluebells that hide in the valley, and the heather that blows on the hill. Yet Love is better than Life, and what is the heart of a bird compared to the heart of a man?

The nightingale then told the young student “Be happy, be happy; you shall have your red rose. I will build it out of music by moonlight, and stain it with my own heart’s blood. All that I ask of you in return is that you will be a true lover, for Love is wiser than Philosophy, though she is wise, and mightier than Power, though he is mighty. Flame-coloured are his wings, and colored like flame is his body. His lips are sweet as honey, and his breath is like frankincense.” The writer aggrandizes love by means of metaphors and had it compared to life in general which paled in comparison with it. The student who knows not the language of nightingales understood none of these– for he only knew the things that are written down in books. In the means of scientific observation (one that uses five senses), he draws his notebook and his pencil out of his pocket and wrote “She has form that cannot be denied to her; but has she got feeling? I am afraid not. In fact, she is like most artists; she is all style, without any sincerity. She would not sacrifice herself for others. She thinks merely of music, and everybody knows that the arts are selfish. Still, it must be admitted that she has some beautiful notes in her voice. What a pity it is that they do not mean anything, or do any practical good.’ And he went into his room, and lay down on his little pallet-bed, and began to think of his love; and, after a time, he fell asleep.” The young student represents people who think they have all the right to jump to conclusions because they think their senses are enough to analyze what the great books of philosophy have never understood.

And so the nightingale sang her heart out as the thorn of the rose tree impaled her. And, little by little, there blossomed a rose. Various colors painted its petal as the nightingale sings of the birth of love in the heart of a boy and a girl, of the birth of passion in the souls of a man and a maid, and of the Love that is perfected by Death, of the Love that dies not in the tomb until the rose becomes crimson– until Death has made its victim captured. The student then wakes up and exclaimed how lucky he is for the most beautiful red rose is in his sight, totally oblivious of how the red rose has been crafted. He then rushes to the Professor’s house with the rose is in hand and presented it to the professor’s daughter. She rejects the rose for she it does not match her dress and also the Chamberlain has sent her real jewels. Disappointed with anger, the student said “Well, upon my word, you are very ungrateful.” and throws the rose into the street and falls into the gutter, then a cart-wheel crashes it. The words that are uttered by the young student to the maiden can also be used against him for he no gratitude was ever paid to the life at that had been lost at the cost of a single red rose. He then resorts to reading and considers Love as a silly thing. He then compares Love with Logic and how the former proves not a thing, whereas the latter is practical (in this age to be practical is everything).

Sometimes writers are at loss for words when expressing what their hearts want to express and resorting to the utilization of figurative languages such as metaphors, similes, and personifications can be a huge help. If these literary pieces have inspired you to write such things, try using metaphors to help you comfort the uncertainties of your heart.

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