Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.
''John, you need to clean up! Your room is a natural disaster!'' At some point in your life, you may have heard a parent or grown-up call your name and direct you to clean up a messy room. Just like John, your room was probably described as a disaster of some sort. This phrase you hear when you need to clean up is a great example of a metaphor that could be used in a poem.
A metaphor compares two different words or phrases using the words 'is' or 'are.' For example, ''Your room is a natural disaster'' compares a messy room to the chaos and cleanup needed after a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or flood. It's a metaphor because it makes the comparison by using the word 'is.'
Metaphor poems are poems that contain metaphors, which compare different people, places, things, or ideas. As a literary device, metaphors in poems help the reader to better understand the author's meaning. For example, if a poet is trying to describe the sunset pictured in this image, he or she may use a metaphor to help the reader understand what it looks like. Can you think of a metaphor to describe this image?
Some metaphors a poet might use to help the reader visualize what the sunset looks like could be:
- The sunset is a beautiful canvas.
- The sunset is colorful cotton candy.
- The sunset is paint on an artist's brush.
Even though the reader is unable to see the sunset the poet is describing, the metaphor helps him or her understand what the sunset may look like.
Metaphor poems can look very different. Some may rhyme, while others may not. They can be short or long and written about any topic. Many metaphor poems contain multiple metaphors.
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Example Poem: Homework
For example, I'm going to read a poem about homework in which there are many different metaphors used to describe homework. Can you find them all?
The metaphors in the poem are:
- Homework is a bee sting on your tongue.
- Homework is dropping your ice cream cone on the sidewalk.
- Homework is a deflated balloon.
Since all the metaphors in the poem compared homework to bad things, such as dropping your ice cream or a sad, deflated balloon, the poet is obviously letting the reader know that he or she does not like homework at all. Homework may not be pleasant, but this person must really hate it if it's as bad as a bee sting on your tongue!
Another version of a metaphor poem uses an extended metaphor, which is a single metaphor that is thoroughly described in the poem. Let's look at a poem that contains an extended metaphor.
Example Poem: The Game of Life
In the poem, the author uses one metaphor to compare life to a board game. The author continues to give examples throughout the poem to support how life is like a board game. For example, life is described as ''rolling the dice'' when you make a decision or having to ''move two spaces forward'' when we experience good times and ''three spaces back'' when we have hard or unhappy times.
Metaphor poems are rhyming or non-rhyming poems that use metaphors. By using this type of literary device, an author can help a reader better understand the meaning of a poem by comparing two things using the word 'is' or 'are.' Metaphor poems can contain multiple metaphors or one extended metaphor.
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Metaphor Poems: Lesson for Kids
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