Glossary Terms

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Simile

A comparison (see Metaphor) made with “as,” “like,” or “than.” In “A Red, Red Rose,” Robert Burns declares:

                   O my Luve is like a red, red rose
                   That’s newly sprung in June;
                   O my Luve is like the melody
                   That’s sweetly played in tune.

“What happens to a dream deferred?” asks Langston Hughes in “Harlem”:

                   Does it dry up
                   like a raisin in the sun?
                   Or fester like a sore—
                   And then run?
                   Does it stink like rotten meat?
                   Or crust and sugar over—
                   like a syrupy sweet?

Browse poems with developed similes.

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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