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27.12.2011 12:56    Comments: 0    Categories: Fiction Elements  Fiction Writing  Writing Tips      Tags: personification  writing  shery ma belle arrieta  

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:

  • pride
  • time
  • mushrooms
  • chain
  • radio

    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.

  • Silence blooms as the daisy coaxes
  • The sea falters as the mountain prays
  • Apathy sobs as silence croons
  • Ignorance boasts as darkness dies
  • Anger wavers as silence charms


    About the Author



    Shery Ma Belle Arrieta is the creator of WriteSparks! - a software that generates over 1,000,000 Story Sparkers for Writers. Download WriteSparks! Lite for fr*e - WriteSparks!

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