Meaning of Figurative Language in Poetry
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Basics on the topic Meaning of Figurative Language in Poetry
In this video, you will learn about how nonliteral languages such as similes, personification, and hyperbole can be used in poetry.
Transcript Meaning of Figurative Language in Poetry
"I stand before you,... brave as... a lion? When I roar,... they hear me all the way... in Zion?" "What? No Zayd, they don't literally mean that!" To help understand the poem, Zayd needs to learn the meaning of figurative language in poetry. Poems usually contain both literal language, and nonliteral language. Literal language is when the poem means exactly what the words are saying. Nonliteral language is when a poem paints an image in your mind with words and phrases. Poets have different types of nonliteral language they can use. Let's look at some nonliteral language that a poem might have! They might have similes, where you compare one thing with the quality of another thing, using the words like or as. Examples include sly as a fox, or loyal like a dog. They can use metaphors, where you are saying one thing IS something else. You might say Bob is a gazelle; fast and nimble. Metaphors can help you visualize one thing as something else. Poems often use personficiation, where you give humanlike qualities to an object or thing. Personfication can be lines such as the stars danced at night, among the wandering clouds. The words danced and wandering allows you to imagine how the stars and clouds are moving in the sky. Another nonliteral tool sometimes used in poems is hyperbole. Hyperbole is when you exaggerate a point you are trying to make. The line the pin drop was heard miles away, is a great example of hyperbole. This exaggerates how quiet the space is that the pin could be heard dropping. Let's look at the lines Zayd read and see if you can determine the meaning of the nonliteral language used. I stand before you, brave as a lion. When I roar, they hear me all the way in Zion. What nonliteral language is used in the first two lines? A simile is used, we know this because we see the word as. What does Zayd really mean? Zayd is saying he is very brave, like a lion is known to be fearless. What nonliteral language is used in the last two lines? This is using hyperbole. What does Zayd really mean? Zayd is saying his voice is so loud it can be far away; in a national park in Utah! Now Zayd understands his poem a lot more, let's review! Poems often use nonliteral language to paint an image in your mind. They might use tools such as similes, metaphors, personification, and hyperbole! "I stand before you, with the heart of a lion. When I roar, they hear me all the way in Zion." "Brave, Zayd! Bravo!"
Meaning of Figurative Language in Poetry exercise
Help Zayd understand the difference between literal and nonliteral language.Hints
Which term means taking words at their exact meaning?
Which term uses words or phrases to create mental pictures or express something beyond the literal meaning?Solution
1.) Literal language means exactly what the words say.
2.) Nonliteral language means painting an image through words or phrases in your mind.
Show your knowledge of figurative language.Hints
Similes compare things using a similarity.
Metaphors make direct comparisons.
Personification gives life-like qualities to non-living things.
Hyperboles stretch the truth.Solution
Simile: Comparing one thing with the quality of another thing.
Metaphor: Saying one thing is something else.
Personification: Giving humanlike qualities to an object or thing.
Hyperbole: Exaggerating to make a point.
Which of the following are examples of personification?Hints
Are ocean waves able to get angry?
Can the sun smile, or is this something only humans can do?
Look for sentences that give human-like qualities or actions to non-human things.
Similes compare things using a similarity. They also use either "like" or "as."
There are 4 correct answer choices.Solution
These sentences are correct:
- The sun smiled down on the children playing in the park. personification
- The flowers danced in the gentle breeze. personification
- The waves crashed angrily against the shore. personification
- The wind whispered secrets through the trees. personification
These sentences are incorrect:
- Her smile was as bright as the sun. simile
- The boy was as fast as a cheetah on the track. simile
Sort the sentences based on the type of figurative language used.HintsSolution
- The clouds were like cotton candy.
- His words pierced like arrows.
- Her voice was a soothing breeze.
- The sun smiled and warmed our hearts.
- Tree branches danced in the wind.
- The raindrops whispered.
- My backpack weighs a ton!
- I told you a million times!
What type of figurative language is used in the sentence?Hints
Is the sentence saying one thing is something else?
A hyperbole is an exaggeration to make a point.
Is the sentence above an exaggeration to make a point?
The last two lines of this poem are an example of a hyperbole or an exaggeration to make a point.
What does Zayd really mean?
Zayd is saying his voice is so loud it can be heard far away.Solution
The correct answer is hyperbole.
"The line for the amusement park ride was 50 miles long."
The line for the amusement park ride was not really 50 miles long. The writer uses this hyperbole or exaggeration to emphasize how long the line may have seemed.
Can you identify the different types of figurative language?HintsSolution
- Johnny raced through the hallway like a cheetah chasing its prey.
- The school bell roared like a lion, signaling the end of the school day.
- The classroom was a beehive of activity buzzing with excitement.
- Sarah's voice was music to her peers' ears as she alerted her classmates the bell was about to ring.
- Outside, the wind whispered secrets to the trees, causing their branches to dance in joy.
- Jimmy's backpack weighed a ton as if it held a thousand bricks.
- Mrs. Johnson's smile shone brighter than the sun as she dismissed her students.