Hi there!

It's Raquel again for the Gazette Writers Team and I wanted to talk about poetry. To be precise, about how metaphors are used.

folklore, header, and Lyrics image Temporarily removed

When writing metaphors, I think everyone falls back on the usual ones, like a raven for Death or water for healing. While it’s very clear what they’re referring to, oftentimes the other meanings of the metaphor are lost.

Honestly, I started being interested in poetry and analyzing metaphors when I started listening to Taylor Swift, and I’m proud to say I have learnt a lot.

Also, do yourself a favor and listen to #folklore
13, August, and folklore image 13, folklore, and Taylor Swift image

For instance, when comparing Death to a raven, there isn’t really much to compare. If you read about a raven swooping down to snatch something from someone, you just make the immediate assumption that it’s Death without thinking about the actual similarities between them and what the writer is trying to convey. That’s because it’s cliche, and the association is already pretty ingrained in your mind.

It’s possible that when ravens were first used to symbolize Death, people wanted to say that Death had beady black eyes that stare into your soul. Or that it grabs the first shiny object it sees and steals it away for its treasure horde. Or that Death is intelligent and careful with the tools it uses. But no one really thinks about that now.

butterfly, confessions, and movie image air, freedom, and butterflies image

I made a few other metaphors for Death and explained how they better convey specific traits:

  • Death is a small child/toddler - unexperienced, reckless, selfish, steals things without evaluating the consequences
  • Death is charcoal or burnt wood - old, burnt-out, a shell of what it was. There’s also the fact that wood comes from living trees, which could help convey how Death stems from Life.
  • Death is a period - it comes at the end of every sentence, is regular and structured, is part of a system of rules. This was supposed to be a period as in the punctuation, but honestly if you want to convey Death as bloody and miserable, go for it. I’d read that poem.
  • Death is a plant - this breaks the usual association, as plants are often a symbol of Life and vitality. It could add a bit of irony to your poem, and show that Death grows and creeps and covers everything that came behind it. Ivy is a good plant for that specific comparison.

I’m going to leave it at that, because I think my point has been thoroughly conveyed.. Try to use original metaphors and think a lot about the associations and connotations attached to them.


And that's all!

I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed doing it, and I also hope it makes some of you curious enough to take a step forward into poetry. Until the next article!

❇ 𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐀𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐥𝐞𝐬 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐌𝐚𝐲 𝐄𝐧𝐣𝐨𝐲:

❇ 𝐌𝐲 𝐖𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐂𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧:

If you enjoyed this piece and would love to read more of my written pieces, feel free to follow me. Xx

This article was written by @newdiork on the We Heart It Gazette Team.