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Transcript of Figurative Language
Literal = Actual
Figurative = Representative
"Starry Night" ~Van Gogh
A comparison between two
things using like or as.
He is as
fast as a cheetah.
Life is lik
e a box of chocolates.
You never kn
ow what you're going to get.
By Langston Hughes
What happens to a dream deferred?
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?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
A direct comparison of two
things without using the words like or as.
Her eyes were
By Carl Sandburg
The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor a
on silent hau
and then mo
The subway coursed through
the arteries of the city.
The repetition of the beginning
sounds of words.
Peter Piper picked a peck
of pickled peppers.
We shall walk
in the wintery white
A word, phrase, or image
that represents something greater than itself.
A dove often represents peace.
I found a four leaf clover
and knew it was going to
be a great day!
The Road not Taken
o roads diverged
in a yellow wood,
nd sorry I could n
ot travel both
And be one travel
er, long I stood
And looked dow
n one as far as I could
To where it bent
in the undergrowth;
Giving human qualities to something not human.
The leaves whispered
in the breeze.
She sang softly to the
powerful face of the full moon.
By Sylvia Plath
I am sil
ver and exact. I have no preconcept
ever I see I swallow immediately
s it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
not cruel, only truthful—
eye of a little god, four-cornered.
st of the time I meditate on the opp
s pink, with speckles. I have looked
at it so long
hink it is part of my heart. But it flic
aces and darkness separate us over
Extreme exaggeration used to create an effect.
I was so surprised, you could
have knocked me over with a feather
I'm so hungry, I could eat a horse!
from Speed Adjustments
By John Ciardi
He can run a mile in nothing flat.
He can run right out from under his hat
When there's nowhere, really, to go.
That very same boy that's as fast as a jet
Will take all day—and sometimes two—
To get to school
Words whose sound suggests their meaning.
An expression specific to a region. The literal meaning is much different than the intended meaning.
*kick the bucket
*raining cats and dogs
*like shooting fish in a barrel
A 4 Leaf Clover symbolizes good luck.
by Alfred Noyes
Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot! Had the heard it? The horse-hoofs ringing clear;
Tlot-tlot, tlot-tlot, in the dista
nce? Were they
deaf that they did not hear?
Down the ribbon of m
oonlight, over the brow of
wayman came riding,
The red-coats looked to their priming!
She stood up, straight and still!
Essential Questions and Ticket out the Door:
What is figurative language?
Why do authors (poets) use it to communicate?
How does figurative language impact mood?
Why is figurative language important to understand?
The term “
” refers to a set of tools or devices employed by writers to move beyond the
meaning of a word or phrase or to add special effects.
Suggested Note-Taking Strategy