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Best Famous Metaphor Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Metaphor poems. This is a select list of the best famous Metaphor poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Metaphor poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of metaphor poems.

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Written by Wallace Stevens | |

Poem Written at Morning

A sunny day's complete Poussiniana
Divide it from itself.
It is this or that And it is not.
By metaphor you paint A thing.
Thus, the pineapple was a leather fruit, A fruit for pewter, thorned and palmed and blue, To be served by men of ice.
The senses paint By metaphor.
The juice was fragranter Than wettest cinnamon.
It was cribled pears Dripping a morning sap.
The truth must be That you do not see, you experience, you feel, That the buxom eye brings merely its element To the total thing, a shapeless giant forced Upward.
Green were the curls upon that head.


Written by Jorge Luis Borges | |

We are the time. We are the famous

 We are the time.
We are the famous metaphor from Heraclitus the Obscure.
We are the water, not the hard diamond, the one that is lost, not the one that stands still.
We are the river and we are that greek that looks himself into the river.
His reflection changes into the waters of the changing mirror, into the crystal that changes like the fire.
We are the vain predetermined river, in his travel to his sea.
The shadows have surrounded him.
Everything said goodbye to us, everything goes away.
Memory does not stamp his own coin.
However, there is something that stays however, there is something that bemoans.


Written by Margaret Atwood | |

Spelling

 My daughter plays on the floor
with plastic letters,
red, blue & hard yellow,
learning how to spell,
spelling,
how to make spells.
* I wonder how many women denied themselves daughters, closed themselves in rooms, drew the curtains so they could mainline words.
* A child is not a poem, a poem is not a child.
There is no either / or.
However.
* I return to the story of the woman caught in the war & in labour, her thighs tied together by the enemy so she could not give birth.
Ancestress: the burning witch, her mouth covered by leather to strangle words.
A word after a word after a word is power.
* At the point where language falls away from the hot bones, at the point where the rock breaks open and darkness flows out of it like blood, at the melting point of granite when the bones know they are hollow & the word splits & doubles & speaks the truth & the body itself becomes a mouth.
This is a metaphor.
* How do you learn to spell? Blood, sky & the sun, your own name first, your first naming, your first name, your first word.


More great poems below...

Written by Omer Tarin | |

Sea Gull (Leith Docks, 1995)

Once before I've heard this
anguished cry

A long-drawn note of many-lettered woe,
The great open beak straining 
against the roar of raging surf;

Head, thrown back, taut
against the distant sails

Anger flickering in eyes flecked with amber,
rolling in lonely knowledge,
this bond servant of the sea,
tied by its giant wingspan 
to the torturous flight of sainthood

Martyred
in its terrible existence
murdered
by the yellow fog of banality

Victim 
to the squalor of urban beachfronts , 
snuffed out in the face of its own metaphor
screaming curses unto heaven,
proud to the very last;

''Once before'', I said,
''I've heard this cry''.
(from ''Burnt Offerings'', 1996)


Written by Les Murray | |

The New Hieroglyphics

 In the World language, sometimes called
Airport Road, a thinks balloon with a gondola
under it is a symbol for speculation.
Thumbs down to ear and tongue: World can be written and read, even painted but not spoken.
People use their own words.
Latin letters are in it for names, for e.
g.
OK and H2S O4, for musical notes, but mostly it's diagrams: skirt-figure, trousered figure have escaped their toilet doors.
I (that is, saya, Ego, watashji wa) am two eyes without pupils; those aren't seen when you look out through them.
You has both pupils, we has one, and one blank.
Good is thumbs up, thumb and finger zipping lips is confidential.
Evil is three-cornered snake eyes.
The effort is always to make the symbols obvious: the bolt of electricity, winged stethoscope of course for flying doctor.
Prams under fire? Soviet film industry.
Pictographs also shouldn't be too culture-bound: A heart circled and crossed out surely isn't.
For red, betel spit lost out to ace of diamonds.
Black is the ace of spades.
The kind of spades reads Union boss, the two is feeble effort.
If is the shorthand Libra sing , the scales.
Spare literal pictures render most nouns and verbs and computers can draw them faster than Pharaoh's scribes.
A bordello prospectus is as explicit as the action, but everywhere there's sunflower talk, i.
e.
metaphor, as we've seen.
A figure riding a skyhook bearing food in one hand is the pictograph for grace, two animals in a book read Nature, two books Inside an animal, instinct.
Rice in bowl with chopsticks denotes food.
Figure 1 lying prone equals other.
Most emotions are mini-faces, and the speech balloon is ubiquitous.
A bull inside one is dialect for placards inside one.
Sun and moon together inside one is poetry.
Sun and moon over palette, over shoes etc are all art forms — but above a cracked heart and champagne glass? Riddle that and you're starting to think in World, whose grammar is Chinese-terse and fluid.
Who needs the square- equals-diamond book, the dictionary,to know figures led by strings to their genitals mean fashion? just as a skirt beneath a circle meanas demure or ao similar circle shouldering two arrows is macho.
All peoples are at times cat in water with this language but it does promote international bird on shoulder.
This foretaste now lays its knife and fork parallel.


Written by Ogden Nash | |

Very Like a Whale

 One thing that literature would be greatly the better for
Would be a more restricted employment by the authors of simile and
metaphor.
Authors of all races, be they Greeks, Romans, Teutons or Celts, Can't seem just to say that anything is the thing it is but have to go out of their way to say that it is like something else.
What does it mean when we are told That that Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold? In the first place, George Gordon Byron had enough experience To know that it probably wasn't just one Assyrian, it was a lot of Assyrians.
However, as too many arguments are apt to induce apoplexy and thus hinder longevity.
We'll let it pass as one Assyrian for the sake of brevity.
Now then, this particular Assyrian, the one whose cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold, Just what does the poet mean when he says he came down like a wold on the fold? In heaven and earth more than is dreamed of in our philosophy there are great many things.
But I don't imagine that among them there is a wolf with purple and gold cohorts or purple and gold anythings.
No, no, Lord Byron, before I'll believe that this Assyrian was actually like a wolf I must have some kind of proof; Did he run on all fours and did he have a hairy tail and a big red mouth and big white teeth and did he say Woof Woof? Frankly I think it is very unlikely, and all you were entitled to say, at the very most, Was that the Assyrian cohorts came down like a lot of Assyrian cohorts about to destroy the Hebrew host.
But that wasn't fancy enough for Lord Byron, oh dear me no, he had to invent a lot of figures of speech and then interpolate them, With the result that whenever you mention Old Testament soldiers to people they say Oh yes, they're the ones that a lot of wolves dressed up in gold and purple ate them.
That's the kind of thing that's being done all the time by poets, from Homer to Tennyson; They're always comparing ladies to lilies and veal to venison, And they always say things like that the snow is a white blanket after a winter storm.
Oh it is, is it, all right then, you sleep under a six-inch blanket of snow and I'll sleep under a half-inch blanket of unpoetical blanket material and we'll see which one keeps warm, And after that maybe you'll begin to comprehend dimly What I mean by too much metaphor and simile.


Written by Dylan Thomas | |

If I Were Tickled By the Rub of Love

 If I were tickled by the rub of love,
A rooking girl who stole me for her side,
Broke through her straws, breaking my bandaged string,
If the red tickle as the cattle calve
Still set to scratch a laughter from my lung,
I would not fear the apple nor the flood
Nor the bad blood of spring.
Shall it be male or female? say the cells, And drop the plum like fire from the flesh.
If I were tickled by the hatching hair, The winging bone that sprouted in the heels, The itch of man upon the baby's thigh, I would not fear the gallows nor the axe Nor the crossed sticks of war.
Shall it be male or female? say the fingers That chalk the walls with greet girls and their men.
I would not fear the muscling-in of love If I were tickled by the urchin hungers Rehearsing heat upon a raw-edged nerve.
I would not fear the devil in the loin Nor the outspoken grave.
If I were tickled by the lovers' rub That wipes away not crow's-foot nor the lock Of sick old manhood on the fallen jaws, Time and the crabs and the sweethearting crib Would leave me cold as butter for the flies The sea of scums could drown me as it broke Dead on the sweethearts' toes.
This world is half the devil's and my own, Daft with the drug that's smoking in a girl And curling round the bud that forks her eye.
An old man's shank one-marrowed with my bone, And all the herrings smelling in the sea, I sit and watch the worm beneath my nail Wearing the quick away.
And that's the rub, the only rub that tickles.
The knobbly ape that swings along his sex From damp love-darkness and the nurse's twist Can never raise the midnight of a chuckle, Nor when he finds a beauty in the breast Of lover, mother, lovers, or his six Feet in the rubbing dust.
And what's the rub? Death's feather on the nerve? Your mouth, my love, the thistle in the kiss? My Jack of Christ born thorny on the tree? The words of death are dryer than his stiff, My wordy wounds are printed with your hair.
I would be tickled by the rub that is: Man be my metaphor.


Written by Craig Raine | |

Nature Study

 (for Rona, Jeremy, Sam & Grace)

All the lizards are asleep--
perched pagodas with tiny triangular tiles,
each milky lid a steamed-up window.
Inside, the heart repeats itself like a sleepy gong, summoning nothing to nothing.
In winter time, the zoo reverts to metaphor, God's poetry of boredom: the cobra knits her Fair-Isle skin, rattlers titter over the same joke.
All of them endlessly finish spaghetti.
The python runs down like a spring, and time stops on some ancient Sabbath.
Pythagorean bees are shut inside the hive, which hymns and hums like Sunday chapel-- drowsy thoughts in a wrinkled brain.
The fire's gone out-- crocodiles lie like wet beams, cross-hatched by flames that no one can remember.
Grasshoppers shiver, chafe their limbs and try to keep warm, crouching on their marks perpetually.
The African cricket is trussed like a cold chicken: the sneeze of movement returns it to the same position, in the same body.
There is no change.
The rumple-headed lion has nowhere to go and snoozes in his grimy combinations.
A chaise lounge with missing castors, the walrus is stuck forever on his rock.
Sleepily, the seals play crib, scoring on their upper lips.
The chimps kill fleas and time, sewing nothing to nothing Five o'clock--perhaps.
Vultures in their shabby Sunday suits fidget with broken umbrellas, while the ape beats his breast and yodels out repentance.
Their feet are an awful dream of bunions-- but the buffalo's brazil nut bugle-horns can never sound reveille.


Written by Adrienne Rich | |

A Valediction Forbidding Mourning

 My swirling wants.
Your frozen lips.
The grammar turned and attacked me.
Themes, written under duress.
Emptiness of the notations.
They gave me a drug that slowed the healing of wounds.
I want you to see this before I leave: the experience of repetition as death the failure of criticism to locate the pain the poster in the bus that said: my bleeding is under control A red plant in a cemetary of plastic wreaths.
A last attempt: the language is a dialect called metaphor.
These images go unglossed: hair, glacier, flashlight.
When I think of a landscape I am thinking of a time.
When I talk of taking a trip I mean forever.
I could say: those mountains have a meaning but further than that I could not say.
To do something very common, in my own way.


Written by Vernon Scannell | |

Incendiary

 That one small boy with a face like pallid cheese 
And burnt-out little eyes could make a blaze 
As brazen, fierce and huge, as red and gold 
And zany yellow as the one that spoiled 
Three thousand guineas' worth of property 
And crops at Godwin's Farm on Saturday 
Is frightening---as fact and metaphor: 
An ordinary match intended for 
The lighting of a pipe or kitchen fire 
Misused may set a whole menagerie 
Of flame-fanged tigers roaring hungrily.
And frightening, too, that one small boy should set The sky on fire and choke the stars to heat Such skinny limbs and such a little heart Which would have been content with one warm kiss Had there been anyone to offer this.


Written by Delmore Schwartz | |

The Poet

 The riches of the poet are equal to his poetry 
His power is his left hand
 It is idle weak and precious
His poverty is his wealth, a wealth which may destroy him
 like Midas Because it is that laziness which is a form of impatience 
And this he may be destroyed by the gold of the light
 which never was
On land or sea.
He may be drunken to death, draining the casks of excess That extreme form of success.
He may suffer Narcissus' destiny Unable to live except with the image which is infatuation Love, blind, adoring, overflowing Unable to respond to anything which does not bring love quickly or immediately.
.
.
.
The poet must be innocent and ignorant But he cannot be innocent since stupidity is not his strong point Therefore Cocteau said, "What would I not give To have the poems of my youth withdrawn from existence? I would give to Satan my immortal soul.
" This metaphor is wrong, for it is his immortal soul which he wished to redeem, Lifting it and sifting it, free and white, from the actuality of youth's banality, vulgarity, pomp and affectation of his early works of poetry.
So too in the same way a Famous American Poet When fame at last had come to him sought out the fifty copies of his first book of poems which had been privately printed by himself at his own expense.
He succeeded in securing 48 of the 50 copies, burned them And learned then how the last copies were extant, As the law of the land required, stashed away in the national capital, at the Library of Congress.
Therefore he went to Washington, therefore he took out the last two copies Placed them in his pocket, planned to depart Only to be halted and apprehended.
Since he was the author, Since they were his books and his property he was reproached But forgiven.
But the two copies were taken away from him Thus setting a national precedent.
For neither amnesty nor forgiveness is bestowed upon poets, poetry and poems, For William James, the lovable genius of Harvard spoke the terrifying truth: "Your friends may forget, God may forgive you, But the brain cells record your acts for the rest of eternity.
" What a terrifying thing to say! This is the endless doom, without remedy, of poetry.
This is also the joy everlasting of poetry.


Written by Anne Sexton | |

The Touch

 For months my hand was sealed off
in a tin box.
Nothing was there but the subway railings.
Perhaps it is bruised, I thought, and that is why they have locked it up.
You could tell time by this, I thought, like a clock, by its five knuckles and the thin underground veins.
It lay there like an unconscious woman fed by tubes she knew not of.
The hand had collapse, a small wood pigeon that had gone into seclusion.
I turned it over and the palm was old, its lines traced like fine needlepoint and stitched up into fingers.
It was fat and soft and blind in places.
Nothing but vulnerable.
And all this is metaphor.
An ordinary hand -- just lonely for something to touch that touches back.
The dog won't do it.
Her tail wags in the swamp for a frog.
I'm no better than a case of dog food.
She owns her own hunger.
My sisters won't do it.
They live in school except for buttons and tears running down like lemonade.
My father won't do it.
He comes in the house and even at night he lives in a machine made by my mother and well oiled by his job, his job.
The trouble is that I'd let my gestures freeze.
The trouble was not in the kitchen or the tulips but only in my head, my head.
Then all this became history.
Your hand found mine.
Life rushed to my fingers like a blood clot.
Oh, my carpenter, the fingers are rebuilt.
They dance with yours.
They dance in the attic and in Vienna.
My hand is alive all over America.
Not even death will stop it, death shedding her blood.
Nothing will stop it, for this is the kingdom and the kingdom come.


Written by Edgar Lee Masters | |

Roger Heston

 Oh many times did Ernest Hyde and I
Argue about the freedom of the will.
My favorite metaphor was Prickett's cow Roped out to grass, and free you know as far As the length of the rope.
One day while arguing so, watching the cow Pull at the rope to get beyond the circle Which she had eaten bare, Out came the stake, and tossing up her head, She ran for us.
"What's that, free-will or what?" said Ernest, running.
I fell just as she gored me to my death.


Written by Robinson Jeffers | |

The Great Explosion

 The universe expands and contracts like a great heart.
It is expanding, the farthest nebulae Rush with the speed of light into empty space.
It will contract, the immense navies of stars and galaxies, dust clouds and nebulae Are recalled home, they crush against each other in one harbor, they stick in one lump And then explode it, nothing can hold them down; there is no way to express that explosion; all that exists Roars into flame, the tortured fragments rush away from each other into all the sky, new universes Jewel the black breast of night; and far off the outer nebulae like charging spearmen again Invade emptiness.
No wonder we are so fascinated with fireworks And our huge bombs: it is a kind of homesickness perhaps for the howling fireblast that we were born from.
But the whole sum of the energies That made and contain the giant atom survives.
It will gather again and pile up, the power and the glory-- And no doubt it will burst again; diastole and systole: the whole universe beats like a heart.
Peace in our time was never one of God's promises; but back and forth, live and die, burn and be damned, The great heart beating, pumping into our arteries His terrible life.
He is beautiful beyond belief.
And we, God's apes--or tragic children--share in the beauty.
We see it above our torment, that's what life's for.
He is no God of love, no justice of a little city like Dante's Florence, no anthropoid God Making commandments,: this is the God who does not care and will never cease.
Look at the seas there Flashing against this rock in the darkness--look at the tide-stream stars--and the fall of nations--and dawn Wandering with wet white feet down the Caramel Valley to meet the sea.
These are real and we see their beauty.
The great explosion is probably only a metaphor--I know not --of faceless violence, the root of all things.


Written by Elizabeth Jennings | |

In a Garden

 When the gardener has gone this garden
Looks wistful and seems waiting an event.
It is so spruce, a metaphor of Eden And even more so since the gardener went, Quietly godlike, but of course, he had Not made me promise anything and I Had no one tempting me to make the bad Choice.
Yet I still felt lost and wonder why.
Even the beech tree from next door which shares Its shadow with me, seemed a kind of threat.
Everything was too neat, and someone cares In the wrong way.
I need not have stood long Mocked by the smell of a mown lawn, and yet I did.
Sickness for Eden was so strong.