Figurative Language In Poems

Onomatopeia:

They laughed until they shook the trees

With “Hah-Hah-Hahs” and “Hee-Hee-Hees.” – Cloony The Clown, Shel Silverstein

Metaphor:

Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day

Sonnet 18

William Shakespeare

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.

Simile:

Stars By Natasha Niemi.

They are like flashlights in the night sky;
God’s little helpers guiding us on our journeys.
Stars are as bright as a lighthouse on an icy, ocean night;
they are like guardians committed to bringing you home.

Rhyme:

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; 
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
 If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;

(from Sonnet 130 by William Shakespeare)

Personification:

Dinnertime Chorus By: Sharon Hendricks

The teapot sang as the water boiled
The ice cubes cackled in their glass
the teacups chattered to one another.
While the chairs were passing gas
The gravy gurgled merrily
As the oil danced in a pan.
Oh my dinnertime chorus
What a lovely, lovely clan!

Repetition:

What a lovely, lovely clan!

Dinnertime Chorus By: Sharon Hendricks

Hyperbole:

Thanksgiving by: Sharon Hendricks

A mountain of baby carrots,
a turkey the size of a cow.
a river full of gravy
a dog that says meow
Every pie known to man
and gallons full of ice cream.
By the time my dinner is over
I surely won’t be lean.

Alliteration:

Fast Rabbits By: Natasha Niemi

Rabbits running so very fast
In the field of green, green grass.
Sniffing for scents of snack time treats,
Hippity Hopping on their happy bunny feet.
When carrots and other foods are found
The rabbits prance and pounce.

Assonnance:

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,

Imagery:

Spring By: Natasha Niemi

The newborn flowers blossom
in all sizes and vivid colors.
When you walk by, their sweet
and luscious aromas ensnare you..
The beautiful butterflies titter
Around the light grassy areas.
The trees are full of lush, dark green leaves.
Spring is when you can really savor
the intense scent of nature.

Allegory:
Allegory
Thomas Hood

I had a gig-horse, and I called him Pleasure
Because on Sundays for a little jaunt
He was so fast and showy, quite a treasure;
Although he sometimes kicked and shied aslant.
I had a chaise, and christened it Enjoyment,
With yellow body and the wheels of red,
Because it was only used for one employment,
Namely, to go wherever Pleasure led.
I had a wife, her nickname was Delight:
A son called Frolic, who was never still:
Alas! how often dark succeeds to bright!
Delight was thrown, and Frolic had a spill,
Enjoyment was upset and shattered quite,
And Pleasure fell a splitter on Paine’s Hill.

His characters are things and values in life.

Understatement:

Fire and Ice by Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

This is an understatement because he underestimates the power of ice.

Paradox:

Sylvia Plath

Mirror

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 –
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.

Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me.
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.

(also an allegory)

Or

So raise your glass if you are wrong in all the right ways.

(Raise Your Glass, Pink)

Irony:

Prostitution, By: George Orwell

When I was young and had no sense
In far-off Mandalay
I lost my heart to a Burmese girl
As lovely as the day.

Her skin was gold, her hair was jet,
Her teeth were ivory;
I said, “for twenty silver pieces,
Maiden, sleep with me”.

She looked at me, so pure, so sad,
The loveliest thing alive,
And in her lisping, virgin voice,
Stood out for twenty-five.

Synechdoche:

“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears” - Shakespeare, Julius Ceasar

Apostrophe:

  • “Blue Moon, you saw me standing alone
    Without a dream in my heart
    Without a love of my own.”
    (Lorenz Hart, “Blue Moon”)

Allusion:
We Didn’t Start The Fire Lyrics
Artist(Band):Billy Joel

Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray
South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio

Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, television
North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe

Rosenbergs, H-Bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom
Brando, “The King and I”, and “The Catcher in the Rye”

Eisenhower, vaccine, England’s got a new queen
Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye

CHORUS
We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Josef Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc

Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, Dacron
Dien Bien Phu Falls, Rock Around the Clock

Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn’s got a winning team
Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland

Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Khrushchev
Princess Grace, Peyton Place, Trouble in the Suez

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac
Sputnik, Zhou Enlai, Bridge On The River Kwai

Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California Baseball,
Starkweather homicide, Children of Thalidomide

Buddy Holly, Ben Hur, Space Monkey, Mafia
Hula Hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go

U2, Syngman Rhee, payola and Kennedy
Chubby Checker, Psycho, Belgians in the Congo

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Hemingway, Eichmann, Stranger in a Strange Land,
Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion

Lawrence of Arabia, British Beatlemania
Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson

Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British Politician sex
J.F.K. blown away, what else do I have to say

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again
Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock

Begin, Reagan, Palestine, Terror on the airline
Ayatollah’s in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan

Wheel of Fortune, Sally Ride, heavy metal suicide
Foreign debts, homeless Vets, AIDS, Crack, Bernie Goetz

Hypodermics on the shores, China’s under martial law
Rock and Roller cola wars, I can’t take it anymore

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning since the world’s been turning.
We didn’t start the fire
But when we are gone
It will still burn on, and on, and on, and on…

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire…

 

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