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Developed by Glennis Hobbs, 2001

Poetry has a special language of its own. This is referred to as poetic devices or figures of speech, or figurative language. One way to help your reader understand your poem is through the use of comparison of objects. In poetry, the most common devices used for comparison are similes and metaphors.


A simile is a figure of speech in which one object is compared to another unlike object by using the words "like" or "as." Examples: "My luve is like a red, red rose." -- Robert Burns. "I wandered lonely as a cloud" -- William Wordsworth


A metaphor draws a comparison without the use of "like" or "as" and states that one thing is another. Examples: "It is raining cats and dogs." "My love is a red rose" "Juliet is the sun." --William Shakespeare

When using metaphors and similes, it is important to try to make them as original as possible. For example, comparing love to a rose is one of the most overused comparisons in poetry. If your comparisons and similes are fresh and original, your poetry will also be fresh and original.

A. Write an original simile for the following phrases:

1. as busy as _________________________________
2. as sly as __________________________________
3. as proud as a _________________________________
4. as blind as_________________________________
5. as wise as _________________________________
6. as eager as_________________________________
7. as playful as _________________
8. Her hand was like _________________________________
9. Winter is like _________________________________
10. A dream is like_________________________________ 
11. Love is like _________________________________
12. Laughing like _________________________________
13. Kissing like _________________________________
14. __________________________ as soft as _________________________________
15. __________________________ as quick as _________________________________

B. Write a metaphor for the following:

1. My love is __________________________ 
2. My hand is _________________________________
3. A poem is __________________________
4. A clock is __________________________
5. Hair is __________________________ 
6. War is_________________________________
7. Spelling is __________________________
8. A cat is __________________________
9. Dogs are__________________________
10. I am __________________________
11. The moon is __________________________
12. Autumn is __________________________
13. A child is __________________________
14. Fire is __________________________
15. Anger is __________________________

C. Write a short poem using a metaphor or similes or both. Post your assignments to the

Based on the course Poetry 113: Introduction to Poetry, Part II from Writers Village University

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