General Discussion
 Topics of or related to poetry. 

eMule -> The Poetry Archive -> Forums -> General Discussion

Goto Thread: PreviousNext
Goto: Forum ListMessage ListNew TopicSearchLog In
extended comparisons in poetry
Posted by: Paulie (
Date: November 30, 2003 06:15PM

I need to do a descriptive poem anout a scene, person, or season with extended comparisons and figurative language. Could someone send me an example or let me know what this means.
Thank you

Re: extended comparisons in poetry
Posted by: Anneliese (213.78.161.---)
Date: November 30, 2003 09:17PM

Figurative language just means the opposite of literal language - so metaphors and similes are all examples of 'figures of speech (or writing)'. I think your teacher is looking for an extended simile or extended metaphor, where you start off by saying a person or place is like (or is) something else, and then explore the comparison further in the rest of the poem.

A very boring example would be saying that life is a journey, and then going on to talk about crossroads, speeding, running out of petrol (!) as if you were talking about events in life.

Hope this helps!

Re: extended comparisons in poetry
Posted by: Marian-NYC (
Date: December 01, 2003 03:37PM

This sonnet by Shakespeare compares a REAL LIVE WOMAN to an idealized one as portrayed in lots of poems. It is "extended" because he compares his beloved's eyes, lips, breasts, hair, cheeks, breath, voice, and gait (8 different things) to those of the idealized peom-woman.


My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

Here's another Shakespeare sonnet with an extended metaphor. He's comparing "three" to "a summer's day" on only two points: (1) "Thou art more lovely and more temperate" than a summer's day, and (2) summer fades every year, but this poem makes "thee" immortal:


Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

There's a very silly scene in Shakespeare's COMEDY OF ERRORS where two guys compare a fat woman to a globe of the world. Go to Act III, Scene 2, and look for the words: "she is spherical, like a globe" -- it starts there.

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This poetry forum at powered by Phorum.