Posted in Poetry in Education

Write a Colourful Simile or Metaphor poem!

A poetic and crafty way to use similes and metaphors.

When you say something is ‘similar’ to something else you mean they are very ‘like’ each other.

We use a similar word, ‘simile’ when we are writing. Similes COMPARE two things. If I were to say a flower was ‘like’ , or ‘similar to‘, or ‘as yellow as‘ the sun, I would be using a simile.

The flowers were like little suns = a simile.

The flower’s petals were as pink as Barbie’s house = a simile.

The flower petals had edges similar to saws = a simile.

If you say something IS something else, then you are using a metaphor. If I were to say the flowers are suns, I would be using a metaphor. Metaphors are a more exciting and energetic way to describe something. If I say ‘Julie is like a tiger’ it doesn’t sound quite as exciting as ‘Julie is a tiger’.

The flowers are suns, burning my eyes = a metaphor.

My heart was a bird trying to fly from my chest = a metaphor.

The market is a jungle, filled with bright and noisy people = a metaphor.

How about using colours to write some simile and metaphor short poems?

Small simile colour poems:

Pale blue

like the sky

on the horizon.


Orange as a

hungry baby

bird’s beak.


Red as a

Valentine’s Day

card shop.


Small metaphor colour poems:

Blue is the day

above the tree.


Mum’s sheets

are white tents

in the wind.


The air

waved with

green leaf hands.


Now the crafty bit!

Write your one line poems on things that are the same colour as the subject of your poem.

Here are two I have done – my ‘blue’ metaphor poem is written on blue paper. I could have drawn a blue sky as well, or stuck collage pieces of blue onto a white background and stuck the poem on top.

I have used collage on my second example -my ‘red’ simile line poem.

If you have written several simile or metaphor lines you can combine them into one poem – you might want to adjust one or more of the lines or change some of your similes into metaphors or metaphors into similes, make something singular or plural or add or take away a word:

The Colours of the Day


The day was

blue sky on the horizon

blue as the sky above the tree,

the flowers were suns

burning my eyes,

orange baby birds’ beaks,

and red as a Valentine’s

Day card shops,

while the air waved

with green leaf hands.


Notice that I have left out some of my lines. I could have called the poem ‘The Garden’ and included mum’s sheets on the line, but I wanted to keep the images to nature, so I left it out.

If I hadn’t had enough lines, I could have added more!

Read your poem out loud after you have put it together. Does it sound right? Could the rhythm be made better by removing a word or adding one?

Perhaps you think you could make the images better, by changing one of the similes or metaphors. I could have changed the white sheet line to: ‘the clouds are white as sheets in the wind’.

Have fun! Send me one! You could use similes and metaphors to write a Covid19 poem. If Covid19 was an animal, what animal would it be? If it was a type of weather, what weather would it be? What sound would it be? What type of smell? Which colour would it be?

If you write Covid19 poem, enter it for my Covid19 competition – details in the link, side bar or a few posts under this.

Posted in Poet's Piece

Sue Hardy-Dawson – Language Rules!

The first guest poster on Poetry Roundabout is the excellent poet and illustrator, Sue Hardy-Dawson. Sue’s wonderful book, Where Zebra’s Go, is published by Otter-Barry Books.

I wrote this poem when I was feeling very sad and angry. I often find that writing is a really good way of exploring my feelings. I remember thinking that nowadays children spend a long time being reminded of what they should or shouldn’t do before they write. Of course there are lots of rules to remember.

Yet I don’t recall being asked to think much about them when I was a child.

I have always loved learning new words even though I have dyslexia, and struggle to spell most of them. Only in secondary school did anyone attempt to teach me what nouns, verbs and adjectives were. Later on I vaguely remember rhyme, similes and metaphors being mentioned and that was as much as I knew until long after I started writing poetry. Yet I had no difficulties in having ideas, in using language. I knew where words went and how to use them. How? Because I, just as you are, was surrounded by people who talked. Also my parents read to me and when I too learnt to read, I read everything I could get my hands on. I still believe reading well is the very best way to learn how to write well.

Just think for a minute how amazing our brains are. Did you know we actually begin to learn the rhythms of our native language listening through the walls of our mothers’ wombs? In fact, in the first seven years of our lives, the language part of our brains develops rapidly. This is why talking, reading and sharing poetry and stories is so important, even for the smallest of children.

So without even trying, you, like me, have been collecting words all of your life. Spoken language changes all the time and I still get excited when I find a new word. There are lots of really interesting things to learn about language. So should we be learning and worrying about the rules of grammar? Of course sometimes, when we need to. But not when we are writing creatively, then it should be something we only think about afterwards.

I know if I stopped to consider carefully every word I put on the page I would struggle to write at all or to enjoy it. When getting my ideas down I rarely pause to check anything other than that I can read what I have written. ‘Fine tuning’ (spellings, punctuation, even if it makes sense) is my very last step. Why? Because although there are lots of rules about writing; ideas ignore them. Ideas just want to get out and onto the page. Of course if you don’t listen carefully they will disappear. Ideas are tricky like that and later you will struggle to remember exactly what they were.

So remember what an amazing brain you have. Read everything you can and write for fun, write for yourself. Just have a go without worrying about it. Then perhaps, one day soon, I will pick up a book and find myself reading a poem or a story that you wrote.