Metaphor: The fundamental purpose of this literary device is to give an understanding of the unfamiliar with the comparison of two unlike things, which can be accomplish through several techniques used within the use of a metaphor: implicit comparison which is used in a figurative manner to express something of a person; as a symbol using an item or object used to represent something different than that of the object being symbolized; and finally figurative language such as figure of speech or symbolism that does not represent something real. This device may be one of the simplest poetic devices, yet is extremely effective in creating an image or idea that the poet is trying to convey. In addition of the imagery created it also can create “runway effect” of other images that enhance the readers understanding of the piece and help development the poem as a whole if the reader connects the metaphorical images together in one whole dynamic image.
Example: Stephen Collis uses metaphors throughout his work in Mine. Two of the more powerful and dynamic uses of metaphors were in the poem Souvarine are “deathly still friendship seemed the miners” (Collis 71) and “the world bathed in blood and purified by fire” (Collis 72). With the first quote one may get the impression that the men’s friendship is almost zombie like and that unique characteristic separates them from others, which in turn creates a necessary bond because they only have each other to rely on. And the second quote, the image of the world covered in blood and being savagely destroyed by fire is an image that elicits a very strong emotion within the reader and in doing so gives another tool for the reader to understand the emotion behind the poem.
Collis, Stephen. Mine. Vancouver: New Star, 2001.
“METAPHOR.” The Nellen Family Jewels. Web. 14 Feb. 2011.
“ Metaphor”. Literary Terms and Definitions. Web. 14 Feb. 2011.