Grade: Senior
Subject: Literature

#1328. Creating metephore poetry (with poem by Jewel.)

Literature, level: Senior
Posted Thu Sep 30 19:10:20 PDT 1999 by Gale Langley (
Lewisville ISD (Currently a substitute), Lewisville, Denton County
Materials Required: Poetry, including poem, Lost, by Jewel.
Activity Time: 30 to 60 minutes
Concepts Taught: Metaphors (ans simile)

I like this lesson because it is interesting to the students (they are familiar with the singer Jewel, which makes them more engaged with this poetry lesson), and helps them both learn ABOUT metephores and use them creatively themselves.

Part 1: First, explain briefly the concept of metaphore and simile. It's good to use a few examples from everyday life (sayings, quotes from TV add or movies, etc.). Pick several poems that have metaphores and similies in them. Go over the poems for meaning. As you are doing this, ask students to point out where they see metaphore or simile in the poems. (Better if poems are short.) Below are several poems that could be used for this:

All the Words - Jewel
As a Child I Walked - Jewel
Mirror - Sylvia Plath
A Dream Deferred - Langston Hughes
Justice - Langston Hughes
She Walks In Beauty - Lord Byron

2nd Part: Last cover the poem "Lost" by Jewel. The metaphores in this are blatantly obvious, though the meaning behind them is not. Here it is (taken from her book of poetry, "A Night Without Armor" (where you can find the other poems I listed previously as well).


is a puzzle
of stars
that breathes
like water
and chews
like stone

is a reminder
of how far
is from

is a bird
that believes itself
into extinction

the honest recognition
of a false truth

seeing who you really are
at your highest
is who you will become

the refinement of a
Soul though time

After discussing this poem (which will take a little while) have the students write their own "Metephore Poem" by copying the pattern used by Jewel. You can have them pick as many words as you like (I had mine do 3 or more words) and have them write a metaphore (or simile) for each. I had them read there poems outloud in a "Coffee House" style poetry reading the next day, which is a fun way to conclude the activity if you choose (hot chocolate works great for "coffee" and I had them do the clicking your fingers thing for clapping like they do in poetry reading. It was a blast.)