A metaphor is a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two things that are usually unlike each other, and it replaces the word for one object with that of another. Unlike a simile which is another figure of speech that utilizes “like” or “as”, a metaphor makes the comparison without the use of these two words. You can usually find metaphors in many literary works and even in the lyrics of songs. So it is not that uncommon for you to also encounter metaphors within the world of poetry every now and then.
When reading a poem, they would often have very complex themes that would show to their readers just what kind of views they wish to impart onto the public so that they may see what they have already felt and witnessed. So here are a few examples of metaphors that can be found in some famous poetic lines:
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune–without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
“I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.”
by Emily Dickinson
I’m a riddle in nine syllables,
An elephant, a ponderous house,
A melon strolling on two tendrils.
O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!
This loaf’s big with its yeasty rising.
Money’s new-minted in this fat purse.
I’m a means, a stage, a cow in calf.
I’ve eaten a bag of green apples,
Boarded the train there’s no getting off.
by Sylvia Plath
Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floors
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So, boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps.
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall nowâ”
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
by Langston Hughes.
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 dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st 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.
by William Shakespeare
You do not need to be a literary genius in order to be able to write poems that are filled with metaphors, there are simple ones for you to do as well. Let us show you some examples of poems filled with metaphors that are aimed at children such as:
Morning is love, when mom bids me arise,
Eggs shaped like hearts, a breakfast surprise.
The sun barely risen, looks down with a smile,
And says, “take your time, just sit for a while.”
Tea time is rest, as the light starts to fade.
Homework is done and the table is laid.
The kettle whistles “You know me, you do.”
The saucepan bubbles, “And I know you, too.”
Though distance and time have claimed it from me,
This home lives within, a memory.
My room is a picture which stays in my head –
The books in the corner, the cat on the bed.
Home is my best friend, my partner, my all,
Be it ever so humble, be it ever so small.
I thought it rather strange today,
When visiting the zoo,
To find the creatures living there,
Are just like me and you.
So wild and acrobatic,
The monkeys in their cage,
Delight in swinging high and low,
Performers on a stage.
Dignified and tall, the penguins on the ice,
Waiters in their black and white,
Proper and precise.
Gazelles turn together,
A troupe of graceful, dancing girls,
Synchronized and slender,
Performing plies, jumps, and twirls.
Poor zebras are the prisoners,
Condemned for life, you know,
Their classic uniform of stripes,
Truly marks them so.
If I had all day, I’d surely make,
Some other metaphors,
For sloths, and tigers, elephants,
And even dinosaurs.
Each night he walks his kingdom and nods to all he meets,
His confident strut, his head held high; he roams through starlit streets.
He growls a swift hello, his eyes all aglow,
With warrior fire, and burning desire,
To be proud Scottish Chieftain.
Each night he dreams in 3-D, of dangerous battles galore,
Shining swords, flashing daggers, moated castles, and more.
His tartan wrapped tight; he enters the fight,
He leaps at his foe, but then they laugh low,
He is a Chihuahua you see.