Metaphor and Simile

Metaphor and simile are two of the most common rhetorical devices we use in writing. They are similar: metaphor makes an implicit comparison, by referring to one thing as if it were another thing; simile likens one thing to another, making the comparison explicitly with words such as “like” or “as.”

Metaphor: She is a butterfly, flitting from one eager bud to the next, gathering pollen for her honeyed words.

Simile: She’s like a cat, stretching in the sun. The sun looks like a tennis ball hung in front of turquoise felt.

To be, or to be like – that is the question. Now, can you identify the metaphors and similes in the following poems? Can you spot any other rhetorical devices here? Mention them in the comments, if you spot them!

Met a Four?

I never met a Four I didn’t like.
Four is never against you,
Like that loner, One.
Two Fours make eight –
An even-numbered dinner date!
A dozen good eggs –
Crawling out of their shells –
that’s three Fours.
After that, it’s all a scramble…
A frolicking frittata of Fours –
An alliterative oeuvre of an omelet
For the cracked writer.

Simile of a Smile

Her smile’s like a comma
or parenthesis,
Floating on a breath
of warm, fresh words,
Below coal-black, laughing eyes
like the periodic wink
of a sideways semicolon.

Good Mythical Morning! Rhett and Link Tackle Common Mispronunciations


Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; Innocents & Demons; and A New Leaf for Lyle. You can find her books on Amazon at For more information on her children's books, please visit
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8 thoughts on “Metaphor and Simile”

    1. Hahaha… “pay no attention to that rhetorical device behind the curtain” – yes, any conscious “technique” or “device” that calls attention to itself is a distraction from the effect the writer’s trying to achieve in using it.

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