Comparisons, Part 1 | Tools of the Trade

Michael Carey's two most basic tools for saying more with less are simile and metaphor. Michael teaches that these tools of comparison add even more meaning to a poem.

A simile is a comparison that says something is similar to something else. Simile often uses the words "like" or "as" to make comparisons. An easy way to recall this is to remember the beginning of simile is the word "sim". This is also the beginning of the word "similar".


Here are some similes:

His kids are like a pack of wild dogs.

This poem is as ugly as a wart.


When we add the idea of kids to the idea of wild dogs, a new idea is created. With this comparison, the kids mentioned in the line become out-of-control, threatening beasts!


A metaphor is also a comparison, but instead of something being similar to something else, it is something else.


Here are some examples of metaphor:

Making my bed is a pain in the neck.

Life is a bowl of cherries.


We know that making our bed does not cause pain to the neck, but making our bed and a pain in the neck are both a real drag! We also know that a bowl of cherries is a sweet, pleasurable thing, as the author of that line believed life was, as well.

More in this Series

Periscope / National Poetry Month: A World of Poetry | Periscope / E. Tools of the Trade | Periscope