Introduction – 45 to 60 seconds Audio Figurative language is a literary device used to create an effect in literature. What is the purpose of poetry? Usually, the poet wants to create emotions, or feelings, in readers. Figurative language is used to compare items, people, places, or ideas. You could say, “My sister is a monkey when she jumps around the furniture and runs through the house. ” When you compare your sister to a monkey, you are not saying she is a monkey. You are showing that she has some characteristics of one. This is an example of a metaphor. A metaphor is a comparison that does not use the words like, as, or than.
A simile is also a comparison. A simile, though, does use the words like, as, and than. Let’s reword the above metaphor into a simile. “My sister acts like a monkey because she is always jumping and crawling around. ” When you write poetry, using similes and metaphors can help to make your poems fun, interesting, and lively. Build on Introduction – 25 to 35 seconds Why do poets use figurative language, specifically similes and metaphors, in poetry? What if we compare poetry to a recipe for chicken? For example, your mom might boil some chicken and throw it on your plate for dinner.
Does that sound very tasty? Of course not! So what could your mom do to make the chicken taste better? She could add other ingredients and spices. Suddenly, the chicken has the potential to go from dull and tasteless to delicious and interesting. Similes and metaphors have the same effect on poetry! The more variety added by the writer, the more interesting the poem becomes. Build on Clip B – 25 to 35 seconds Audio Now that you know why poets use similes and metaphors in poems, let’s take a look at how they are used. Listen to the following lines from the poem, “It’s Raining Pigs and Noodles” by Jack Prelutsky and James Stevenson.
It’s raining pigs and noodles, it’s pouring frogs and hats, chrysanthemums and poodles, bananas, brooms, and cats Clearly, the poets did not mean to imply that it is actually raining pigs and noodles. They were showing the reader that it was raining really hard! But, by using comparisons, the poem became a lot more fun to read. Build on Clip C – 25 to 35 seconds Audio Now, let’s take a minute to look at the use of similes in poems. Listen to a stanza from the poem, “I’m the Dragon of Grindly Grun,” by Shel Silverstein. I’m the Dragon of Grindly Grun, I breathe fire as hot as the sun.
When a knight comes to fight I just toast him on sight, Like a hot crispy cinnamon bun The speaker of the poem uses simile to say that the fire he breathes is “as hot as the sun. ” By using that image, the reader clearly sees that the fire is VERY hot. The speaker also says that he toasts the knight “like a hot crispy cinnamon bun. ” Not realistic, but makes a clear point! By using similes, the author creates images for the reader so they can relate to the poem and feel immersed in the action. Remediation for Clip A – 25 to 35 seconds Audio Remember, similes and metaphors are forms of figurative language.
Metaphors compare two different things, but they do not use the words like or as. For example, “Jen’s life is a field of flowers. ” Obviously, Jen’s like is not literally a field of flowers! Most likely, the author is saying that Jen has a beautiful life. On the other hand, similes use the words like, as, or than to make comparisons. What if your friend said to you, “Look outside; It is as cold as a polar bear in the Antarctic. ” Your friend did a great job making the comparison so you would know that is really, really cold outside! Remediation for Clip B – 25 to 35 seconds Audio Similes and metaphors add variety and interest to poetry.
You can compare them to ingredients in recipes. If you decide to bake cookies, what do you need to do? The first thing you need to do is gather all of the ingredients. If you only used flour and baking soda, would the cookies taste very good? Yuck! Absolutely not. You need a variety of ingredients. Similes and metaphors are some of the “ingredients” you can use in poems Of course, just like with a recipe, you need variety. Similes and metaphors are only two of many “varieties” that you can use in poems! Remediation for Clip C – 25 to 35 seconds Audio Remember, authors use similes and metaphors in poems to add interest, detail, and imagery.
There is a popular lullaby titled, “You are my Sunshine,” that people sing to small children. Listen to the following lyrics: You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray. The author uses the metaphor, “you are my sunshine” for what purpose? Most likely, he chooses that metaphor because sunshine is perceived as a positive and happy. So the author uses the metaphor to create a clear visual and metal picture showing the love of one person for another. Remediation for Clip D – 25 to 35 seconds Audio Similes are another comparison used in poetry.
Unlike metaphors, similes use the words like, as, or than. Listen to the following excerpt from a short poem about a hamster by an unknown author. My hamster is as smart as an inventor, as friendly as a dog, as fast as a race car The author uses numerous similes – As smart as an inventor, As friendly as a dog, and as fast as a race car. When you think about these metaphors, it is clear that the author really likes and enjoys her hamster. But, if she had just said, “I love my hamster,” the poem would not have been nearly as interesting and enjoyable!