Why does poetry use metaphors

Poems in shape!

The special thing about a poem is its shape.

You already know the most important features ...

  • The lines of a poem have their own name, they are called Verses.
  • The paragraphs of a poem are called Stanzas.
    A stanza in turn consists of several Verse.
  • One speaks of a rhyme when in two or more words the last stressed vowel sounds the same, e.g. B. Couple rhyme (aa bb), cross rhyme (abab), embracing rhyme (abab).

Poems are alive

Poems, however, often come across as particularly lively due to their language.

An example:

An arrow goes swiftly, the air rushes by quickly, the clouds run a lot, the lightning strikes the oaks,

Do this when you want to investigate which expressions make a poem particularly vivid ...

Why is?

Read the poem two to three times; say it softly so that you can empathize with it.

Write down in short sentences what it is about in the poem / stanzas goes.

Example: The poem describes how autumn begins: Leaves take on a bright color, they fall one by one to the ground ... / The poem is about autumn. The leaves …

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Finding linguistic images I

Find passages in the text that bring the poem to life:

  • Comparisons: A comparison is a linguistic image that with the word how is initiated.
    Example: People like shadows
  • Personifications: Things, animals or natural phenomena are humanized, given human characteristics or abilities.
    Example: The sun is laughing.

Comparison: "how"
Personification: Things, animals or natural phenomena have human characteristics or abilities.

Find linguistic images II

  • Metaphors: Often you will also find passages of text with a figurative meaning that are not meant literally.
    In this case one speaks of one metaphor.
    A metaphor is like a shortened comparison without the word “like”.
    Example: break someone's heart

You can understand metaphors better if you realize:
What real object is denoted by the term?
What do the object and the transferred meaning have in common?

Example: personification

Autumn is on the ladder

Peter Hacks

Autumn is on the ladder
And paints the leaves
A merry forest worker
a happy wanderer. [...]

from: Peter Hack's “Der Flhmarkt” Reprint / duplication only with the express permission of the copyright holder.
© Eulenspiegel Verlag Berlin.

Autumn, a season of the year that brings particularly splendid colors (various colors of the withering leaves ...). So that the reader can visualize this variety of colors well, the poet lets Herbat appear as an acting “person”; he personifies autumn.

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Example: comparison

The autumn

Rough winds, sharp as sabers ...

The poet compares the rough winds with the sharpness of a saber.

Example: metaphor

Golden world

Georg Britting

In September everything is made of gold:
The sun rolling through the blue
The stubble field, [...]

from: © Ingeborg Schuldt-Britting; www.britting.com.

The colors change in autumn: leaves, fields, apples on the tree turn yellow. This shade is similar to gold; therefore the poet uses a linguistic image (a metaphor) so that the reader can better imagine what is being described.