The job of the reader is to make sense of all aspects in a work. To begin learning how to achieve this, we will start with the basics.
Figures of speech are words that do not give a direct, straightforward meaning. They are often used in writing for emphasis or clarity.
In poetry, figures of speech are used frequently. The top three most popular figures of speech are listed below:
Metaphor: A metaphor is a figure of speech comparing two objects. It can compare a symbol to what it represents. Metaphors are often used in poetry in which one thing is pictured as if it were something else.
Simile: A simile is a figure of speech closely related to a metaphor. It is a comparison using “like” or “as.” Unlike metaphors, similes usually don’t elaborate. They do imply feeling and meaning, though.
Personification: Personification is one of the simplest forms of symbolism. Personification is treating an abstraction (symbol) as if it were human.
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
The tree is described to be a female through figurative language.
A poem lovely as a tree. (line 2)
Fools like me. (line 11)
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest. (line 3)
Earth’s flowing breast. (line 4)
A tree that looks at God all day. (line 5)
And lifts here leafy arms to pray. (line 6)