What Makes a Poem a Poem?

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"Metaphors and Similes are based in imagery, which is the means by which literature is made graphic and vivid" (Roberts, 140).

To answer the rhetorical..ish question in my title, I believe that metaphors and similes are, as Roberts says, the means by which literature is made graphic and vivid. The reason that similies and metaphors are crucial to poetry is because of the abstract nature of poetry itself. Poetry is made to paint pictures in our heads. This is why I love to use these two devices to make my poetry come alive:

A heavy quilt of sky
blots out the sun's light,
like a contorted hand
covering both of my eyes;
a cage of stars holds captive
all of my thoughts as they
attempt to break free.

I have no idea how to continue this poem, but as you can see, similes such as "like a contorted hand" and metaphors such as "a heavy quilt of sky" help the imagination to paint a vivid image.


I love "a cage of stars" -- it's mind-boggling to think that the universe, big as it is, can still hold in a person's imagination. Great examples!

JessicaOrlowski Author Profile Page said:

Thanks, Dr. Jerz, but I actually can't take credit for that first line. It is the title of a book by Jacqueline Mitchard that was sitting in front of me when I wrote that blog. I liked it alot, too, so I put it in the first line.

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