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Hyperbole

A figure of speech composed of a striking exaggeration. For example, see James Tate’s lines “She scorched you with her radiance” or “He was more wronged than Job.” Hyperbole usually carries the force of strong emotion, as in Andrew Marvell’s description of a forlorn lover:

             The sea him lent those bitter tears
             Which at his eyes he always wears;
             And from the winds the sighs he bore,
             Which through his surging breast do roar.
             No day he saw but that which breaks
             Through frighted clouds in forkèd streaks,
             While round the rattling thunder hurled,
             As at the funeral of the world.

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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