Personification is one of the more commonly used figures of speech. It is giving human attributes such as feelings, actions, thoughts and habits to non-human things (animals, objects or ideas). Things or abstracts are given human qualities.
Personification abounds in poetry and plays --
~ In Emily Dickinson's "The Train"
"I like to see it lap the miles,
And lick the valleys up,
And stop to feed itself at tanks;
And then, prodigious, step"
~ In William Blake's "Two Sunflowers Moved in the Yellow Room"
"They arranged themselves at the window and counted the steps of the sun,"
~ In Sylvia Plath's "Mirror"
"Whatever I see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful --"
~ In William Shakespeare's "Othello"
"O beware, my lord, of jealousy!
It is the green-ey'd monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on."
When personifying an object/animal/idea, ask the following:
1. What human quality can this object/animal/idea possess?
2. What physical characteristics can I give this object/animal/idea?
Now try to see if you can personify these:
And here's a list of sparks generated by the WriteSparks!(tm) Mixed Personification Generator. Use them to start off a story, a poem, an essay. Or simply use them as warm-ups. See where these personifications lead your writing.
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