Poetry Facts

What is Simile in Poetry? (+Example Poems to Learn From)

Last Updated: October 22, 2022
simile in poetry

When you break it down, most poetry is the use of figurative language to create a picture in the mind of the reader. And one of the most common, and versatile, forms of figurative language is simile. Similes can add flavor and life to even the most mundane things.

Have you ever read a poem and been struck by the way the words sound? Poets often use literary devices like simile to create beautiful images and evoke strong emotions in their readers. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at what exactly is simile and some examples of how poets use it. Read on!

What is simile?

A simile is a figure of speech that directly compares two things. For example, you might say “She’s as pretty as a princess” or “He eats like a hog.” Similes are typically used in poetry and literature to add dimension and color to the writing. In addition, similes can be used to make a point or convey an emotion more effectively.

The use of similes is limited only by the imagination of the writer. However, similes should be used sparingly, as too many similes can make writing seem trite or juvenile. When used judiciously, similes can add depth and beauty to your writing.

Similes are one of the most common poetic devices, and they can be an effective way to create vivid images and add layers of meaning to a poem. Similes can be used to compare two objects that are very different, or two objects that are similar but have different connotations. By using a simile, the poet can add depth and richness to their description.

Examples of simile around us

It’s not difficult to find various examples of simile around us. Simile is such a simple yet effective way to convey ideas and express yourself, and is easily one of the most common forms of figurative language. Not just in poetry, but you can find examples of simile in pretty much any form of language expressions: song lyrics, advertising, classic literature, everyday conversations, etc.

Below are some common examples of simile:

  • She is as cute as a kitten.
  • Life is like a box of chocolates.
  • That guy is as strong as an ox.
  • Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.
  • Tracking muscle growth is like watching grass grow.
  • Love is like the wild rose-briar.
  • I slept like a baby last night.
  • It works like a charm.
  • Her smile is bright as the sun.
  • My puppy is as cute as a button.

5 simile poems you can learn from

1. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Jane Taylor

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

Then the traveler in the dark
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
How could he see where to go,
If you did not twinkle so?

In the dark blue sky you keep,
Often through my curtains peep
For you never shut your eye,
Till the sun is in the sky.

As your bright and tiny spark
Lights the traveler in the dark,
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

2. A Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns

O my Luve is like a red, red rose
  That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve is like the melody
   That’s sweetly played in tune.

So fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
   So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
   Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
   And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
I will love thee still, my dear,
   While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only luve!
   And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my luve,
   Though it were ten thousand mile.

3. The Cricket Sang by Emily Dickinson

The cricket sang,
  And set the sun,
And workmen finished, one by one,
   Their seam the day upon.

The low grass loaded with the dew,
The twilight stood as strangers do
With hat in hand, polite and new,
  To stay as if, or go.

A vastness, as a neighbor, came,—
A wisdom without face or name,
A peace, as hemispheres at home,—
   And so the night became.

4. A Lady by Amy Lowell

You are beautiful and faded,
Like an old opera tune
Played upon a harpsichord;
Or like the sun-flooded silks
Of an eighteenth-century boudoir. In your eyes
Smoulder the fallen roses of outlived minutes,
And the perfume of your soul
Is vague and suffusing,
With the pungence of sealed spice-jars.
Your half-tones delight me,
And I grow mad with gazing
At your blent colors.

My vigor is a new-minted penny,
Which I cast at your feet.
Gather it up from the dust
That its sparkle may amuse you.

5. The New Year by Philip Edward Thomas

He was the one man I met up in the woods
That stormy New Year’s morning; and at first
Fifty yards off, I could not tell how much
Of the strange tripod was a man. His body,
Bowed horizontal, was supported equally
By legs at one end, by a rake at the other:
Thus he rested, far less like a man than
His wheel-barrow in profile was like a pig.
But when I saw it was an old man bent,
At the same moment came into my mind
The games at which boys bend thus, High-
Or Fly-the-garter, and Leap-frog. At the sound
Of footsteps he began to straighten himself;
His head rolled under his cape like a tortoise’s;
He took an unlit pipe out of his mouth
Politely ere I wished him “A Happy New Year,”
And with his head cast upward sideways
So far as I could hear through the trees’ roar–
“Happy New Year, and may it come fastish, too,”
While I strode by and he turned to raking leaves.

Final thoughts

Simile is a great poetic device to add color and depth to your writing. They can also make your poems more interesting and enjoyable to read. I hope that you’ve understood the concept of simile as well as how to use them in your poems through the examples in this article. And don’t forget that you can always come up with your own original similes, too!

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