The Not So Simple Simile

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The Not So Simple Simile
Simile has been described as the sensible older sibling of metaphor. The suggestion here is that simile takes less risk in the act of describing something, is more judicious or well-reasoned than metaphor and emerging writers can often feel more ‘secure’ in using a simile in a poem in order to show, suggest, or denote an object or feeling; where metaphor insists, a simile suggests...This session will investigate how and why similes work in creative writing, with a brief very simple exercise as an example. Tutors and teachers, as well as writers (myself included) sometimes take it for granted; its easy to spot similes that don't ring true, especially for abstract concepts such as love and death, where ‘our love was as rotten as autumn leaves/ as corroded as a rusty roof/’ and so on. Here we’ll look closely at the simple simile, to see how it can shake things up…
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-39
JournalWriting in Education
Issue numberSpring 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • poetry
  • creative writing

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