The Words Jump From the Page

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The wag of the dog's tail said, "Good times are coming." I knew what she meant because she dropped her favorite ball beside her leash.

Metaphors and similes are confusing enough but when you add personification to the mix, it gets really complicated.

The photo of the dog shows personification, which is when you make a thing, idea, or an animal do something only humans can do.

Do you want words that will literally jump from the page? Then add personification, but first you need to understand what personification is. I found this great explanation posted by Cariopea in the Using English forum, which helps explain the differences between metaphors, similes and personifications.
  1. Within the word personification, there's the word 'person'. If what you are describing has the attributes of a person, then you're using personification.
  2. The difference between personification and metaphor is that metaphor is a comparison made by referring to one thing as another.
  3. If we add in the word "like", we get a simile. Note the letters 'simil-', it means, similar. When you are comparing two things that are not 100% the same, but that have a degree of similarity, then it's a simile.

Life is not a beach, but it's like a beach. (Simile)
Life is a beach. They are the same. (Metaphor)

The beach lives. (Personification)

Word Magic for Writers devotes chapter seven to "Making Images Live". I was introduced to a talented children's writer by the name of Jerry Spinelli where in Maniac Magee he writes of a cold boy. January slipped an icy finger under his collar and down his neck. Here's another example from Mr. Spinelli's writings. During the night, March doubled back and grabbed April by the scruff of the neck and flung it another week or two down the road. Wow, to me this is powerful writing.

The lessons suggest making months human. Jerry Spinelli made March and April enemies, so how could we make two months friends.

Here's my shot at it:
December expresses her love of November by wearing the white dress November chose for her.

You try it, and post your answer here so we can all enjoy it.



Cher'ley said...

Didn't get a chance to let anyone know about this one.

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