Extended Metaphors

March 12, 2007

A metaphor is defined as “a comparison between one thing and another without using like or as.”  An extended metaphor is a longer metaphor that continues the comparison for several lines or stanzas; multiple comparisons are made between the two things instead of just one.

For example:

  • The sea is a hungry dog,
  • He rolls on the beach all day
  • With his clashing teeth and shaggy jaws,
  • He likes to chew on the most ghastly things
  • And spit them out over different land
  • Taking the rubbish with him.

Here’s another example:

The Dark Is…

A swallowed night

Scary and unknown

A blanket of black

A place where nightmares live

A deep dark hole

A place where light can’t show

A place where horror draws you in

Black tights over your head

The final sleep

Something black

A black cat

Where nobody goes

A dark cupboard

A witch’s cauldron

Black as black



The night sky

A question


YOUR TASK: Read the above poems several times.  ANSWER: (1) Which are your favorite images? Why? (2) Are there any lines that aren’t metaphors?  Which ones? (3) Can you think of any “dark” metaphors of your own? CREATE:  (4) Create your own metaphor poem(s).  You might like to start with: the sun; the moon; a snail; a thunderstorm.  

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  1. (1) I like he rolls on the beach all day because I immediately see the ocean coming in and out with the tide and I can also immediately see in my mind a dog covered in sand as in rolls on its back. I also like “a blanket of black” because it really gives a sense of foreboding and…dark.
    (2) I think the following are not metaphors; and spit them out over different land, taking the rubbish with him, scary and unknown, a place where light can’t show, a place where horror draws you in, where nobody goes, and black as black.
    (3) Dark is…the color of the devil, negative, pessimistic.
    (4) A snail is like a plant,
    Its food is too small to be seen,
    There are many different species,
    You never see them move,
    Or else only a tiny bit,
    They grow slowly,
    Oh very slowly,
    But eventually they die.

    • I need help i have to make an extended metapohr byy tomarrow but i dont understand

      • Hi Natalie. Maybe this will help you. A metaphor is “a comparison between one thing and another without using like or as.” For example, I might say: The sky is a blanket of color that drapes over me.” That is a metaphor. An extended metaphor is just a longer metaphor that continues the comparison for several lines or stanzas. So I might continue comparing the sky to a blanket by saying something like: It covers me from head to toe, and makes me feel safe”. Those two comparisons put together = an extended metaphor.

  2. The Sea: My favorite image in this poem is when it says, “With his clashing teeth and shaggy jaws.” It is like when a wave from the sea comes in, and it reminds me of a dog’s jaw open wide.

    The Dark: My favorite image is where it says, “Where a light can’t show,” because it is like a place so dark, that when a light shines, the blackness of it all engulfs the light.

    There is one line in “The Dark” that is not a metaphor. The line is “Black as Black,” because in a metaphor, if you use the words “as” or “like” than it is no longer a metaphor, but a simile. And another metaphor for “the Dark” is “The dark is like being under a blanket in a quiet place.”

  3. 1) Death, though it is a simple word, it has a lot of feeling and meaning; it creates and presents a strong mood.

    2) Black as Black is not a metaphor. It is a simile. Metaphors tell you what something is, a simile tells you what it is like. Similes use the words, like or as. That makes this statement a simile

    3) Silent pain, slowly creeping, soundless, blissful, soul taking, devil’s curse.

    4) My poem;

    Goodbye is;
    A choke
    A tear
    A shake
    A wave
    A sob
    A promise
    To a friend
    Not coming back
    Not definite
    Silent pain

  4. (1) A place where nightmares live. – This sounded very cool to me
    (1 cont.) A place where your horror draws you in. – it sounded descriptive to the dark.

    (2) For the Dark is… I couldn’t find any non-metaphorical lines.

    (3) – Shade.
    – Suns worst enemy.
    – controlling.
    – can bring your greatest fears to life.

    (4) The Moon Is…
    As magnificent as a swan.
    As white as snow.
    As giant as a mountain that reaches to the heavens.
    As far away as impossible.
    As elegant as a beautiful face.
    As mesmerizing as a hypnotists clock.

  5. Good job mittons!! The only thing is, arn’t those similes?

  6. Remember, Mittons, that using “like” or “as” makes your comparison a simile, not a metaphor. What if you rephrased your comparisons like this:
    Instead of The Moon Is…as magnificent as a swan, you said: The Moon Is…a magnificent swan.
    Now you’re making a direct comparison, not an indirect one.

  7. 1. My faveorite image is “he likes to chew on the most ghastly things”. I dont have a dog so i like to think of a dog chewing on things and playing.
    2. Yes, “Black as black”. A metaphor cant have as or like in it.
    3. Another metaphor is “black”.

  8. A Flower is…
    Full of Beauty
    Different colors
    A magnificent sight

  9. A tear is…
    A plead for help
    A soul gone astray
    An angel in heaven
    A newborn child
    A peck on the cheek
    A bruise on your knee
    A lost loved one
    A sign of regret
    For those who care
    A Friday’s good-bye
    A Monday’s Hello
    What comes from the eyes
    Silently ignored
    Love in a stone cold heart.

  10. 1)The images that I liked is “A place where horror draws you in.”I might like this becuse, a dark place seems to make use curious to explore it.
    2)Yes, there is a line that is not a metapor. When its said “The dark is….black as black,” this is becuse it used as.
    3)Yes, I can think of some. Some are: Dark is…. unliving, Dark is…. unforgiving, and Dark is….. painful.
    4)Thunder is….
    The pounding of a drum
    The boom of a castcading of a waterfall
    The loud crunch of leaves in the fall
    The clashing of waves over the sea
    The sream of a child
    Nature’s cymbols clashing

  11. 1)The night sky. It is easy to picture and it makes something so glumy sound beautiful.
    2)Black as black is not a metaphor. It has to compare something and it can’t have like or as in it.
    A place unseen
    Somewhere were torture occures
    4)the sun is…
    A bright light
    A fiery candle
    A source of heat
    Where no one lives
    What heats the earth
    What makes water disapear on a hot day
    The dawn of a new day

  12. 1) the image I liked is “a place where nightmares live”
    2)the phrase that is not a metophor is “black (AS) black” (i bracketed the “as” because you can’t use as or like in a metophor.
    3)Dark is… shameful, awful, hideous & the reaper himself
    4) Iced tea is…
    refreshing your soul
    keeping you cool
    made with love and joy
    a beautiful thing
    gods holy water
    the only thing for me.

  13. (1) I like the poem “The dark is…”. The first poem
    doesn’t make any sence.
    (2) The fifth last line in the poem “The dark is…” the word “as” is used, theefor making it a similie.
    (3) A Metaphor of dark is “dark is a scary nightmare
    creeping upon you.
    (4) These are my Metaphor poems:

    Thunder is…
    .an angery god punishing us
    .a spike of energy in the atmosphere
    .an angel paying the drums
    .a colliding cloud
    .a strike in bowling
    .an idea
    .a natural light
    .a test of wisdom
    .a war between the ground and sky
    .a rolling grey wt ball
    .a shining rainbow nearby and… (not apart of poem)

    comfort is…

    A cast no more
    An extended lounge chair
    A day of no work
    Video games
    A day in bed
    Heaven on a plate (homemade pizza buns)

  14. (1)With his clashing teeth and shaggy jaws,I like it because its clashing teeth i think are like waves in the sea and its shaggy jaws are like the waves hitting against the land.
    (2)Nope im sure i dont see any.
    (3)The sea a big mysterious place.All Dark and unrevealing.
    (4)A Tsunami is…
    Made with the cries of children
    The shaking of the ground
    A wave of waters
    That is all around
    The fear of death
    It makes me scream
    What a nightmare must it be
    To be stranded on a roof all day
    How scary it must be.
    (I don’t know if this extended metaphor is right.)

  15. ok thanks i’ll change that in a little bit.

  16. 1) The image I liked was: “Death”, because the dark looks dead, empty and not alive as day or light.
    2) The line that is not a metaphor is: “Black as black”, because it used “as”.
    3) Some are: The Dark is… blank, The Dark is… poison black water, The Dark is… a tar that blocks the light.
    4) A Thunderstorm Is…
    The voice of lightning
    The lion’s roar
    A bomb
    A train speeding by.

  17. Answer: 1. Myfavorite image is of “the sea is a hungry dog”. I get a picture of a dogs mouth jumping from the sea for food or the sand on the shore.
    2. There are some lines that are not metaphors like “Death and Loneliness”
    3.A horrible day dream, looking with your eyes closed.
    4. A snail is…..
    Slower than a sea cucumber
    A speed to slow to miss
    Almost not moving

  18. 1) “He likes to chew on ghastly things.” When I read this line I could imagine the ocean tide coming in and going out taking junk with it. In the poem about dark when I read “Blanket of black” I thought of a dark and empty space. I like this line because as soon as I read it the image came to my head.
    2) Black as black is not a metaphor because metaphors don’t have the words like or as.
    3) Blindness, where fear lives, unhappy thoughts, somebody’s hate, a black hole.
    A Cloud Is…
    A giant water tap,
    A white alligator,
    A daytime witch,
    A giant octopus,
    A windmill,
    A pile of bricks,
    A story.

  19. 1) The sea is my favorite. Why? For one, i love the sea so its a topic i am interested in. Also, i love the passage “With his clashing teeth and shaggy jaws”. Its so descriptive and it explains both the sea and a dog.
    2)In the poem of “The dark is” a line that is not a metaphor is “black is black”. This isnt one because it uses as.
    3)My exmaples: Dark is silent
    Dark is painful
    4)The moon is..
    A midnight star
    A beautiful sight
    The suns opposite
    A swans white feathers
    Heavens night-light
    Lovers delight
    An aliens backyard
    An astronauts field
    La Luna.

  20. 1) I like the image of ‘He rolls on the beach all day’
    because it matches what dog and waves commonly do.
    2) Some of words that wasn’t a metaphor was at the ‘Darkness is…’: Black tights over your head, because it shows an action, not a thing.
    3) Some of the words for ‘Darkness is…’: Afraid, Horror, the deep cave, Batman (?), a coffin, and a Grim Reaper.
    4) The stars are…
    – The lantern of the sky
    – Gleaming eyes of the god
    – The light leading our way
    – Pure diamonds of the darkness
    – The protector of our loneliness

  21. Nuttie! look out for GPS!

  22. 1)My favorite image is “the night sky” because it seems very calm and quiet and I find that the night sky looks soft and welcoming with the stars glowing softly in it.
    2)The line that isn’t a metaphor is the one that says “black as black” because it uses the word as.
    3)My Example: The Dark is…a ghostly abyss
    4)The sun is…
    A fiery star
    A powerhouse of light
    A floating volcano
    The moon’s opposite
    A lightbulb in the sky
    The Start of day
    A beach’s companion
    A candle that never goes out

  23. 1) My favorite image is
    “A place where nightmares live”
    I like this because to me, it sounds like a child writing it. I picture the charactors from all my nightmares in a dark place.
    2)The non metaphoric line is “black as black” because it uses the word “as” as a direct comparison.
    3) The dark is…
    under your bed
    a vast, unknown land
    where no one wants to go

    4) Lightening is fierce
    Striking fear in us
    A bully
    Crashing to the ground
    Follows the stormy clouds
    Near or far,
    We are afraid

  24. Another example….

    A blade of grass is small
    Growing slowly
    Greener on the other side
    Stepped on every day
    Still strong
    Not as tall as a tree,
    But a tree is never stepped on,
    Is it?

  25. 1)My favourite image is “A deep dark hole” because when you walk inside the dark you don’t know where your going ,the same as walking in a deep dark hole you don’t know where your going either and you fear something will happen to you.
    2)The stanza that doesn’t have a metaphor is “black as black”.
    3)Some examples are Dark is fear and Dark is black.
    4) The sun is…
    The Earth’s daylight
    An Orange peel
    A blaze of fire
    The planet’s guide light
    A big Calendula officinalis
    Orange as Orange
    An orange cat
    A big Star in the sky.

    Calendula officinalis-an orange flower

  26. 1) My favorite line was I like he rolls on the beach all day because because the sea rolls in on the beach and that is like rolling.
    2)The stanza that doesn’t have a metaphor is “black as black”.
    3)The dark is…
    under your bed
    a vast, unknown land
    where no one wants to go
    4) A tornado is …
    A ferosious cat ready to attack,
    Waiting and waiting till you least expect it,
    Then stricking leaving a huge path of destruction behind,
    Then going back to his home,

    • As a teacher I think your answers are impeccable!!

  27. 1. I liked the poem about dark because everything was descriptive and really give you an idea of what the poem is about. The poet expresses what they feel about dark in a great way in my opinion

    2. No because they are all ways and things that dark represents

    3. A bats cave
    A Broken light bulb

    4. Alysse is…
    A bright shining light in a room
    The dancing flowers
    Jumping grass
    A smile out of the blue
    … An awesome (and giggly) friend

  28. Thunder is…
    The Cloud people bowling
    The windows crashing
    An earthquake hitting the floor
    The shattering of dishes
    …A big loud sound

  29. 1). I like the sentence a swallowed night beacause i can just imagine a mouth that is as black as it is big swallowing a big gooie mess. It is quite a lot but that is how that sentence makes me feel.:)

    2). The night sky.

    The bat’s…
    Quiet and un-heard
    A black lonley star
    A creature where fear and hatred lies
    A secretive tomb of darkness
    An animal who makes you shiver and quake
    Then stomps quietly behind you while you run for your life
    When you think you’re safe it comes out of nothing-ness and eats you for its dinner

  30. 1]The place were horrors draws you in because it gives me a shiver and i can she darkness pulling you in by the hands.
    2]Black and black is not a metophore- i think
    3] under your bed frames,a scary land where people dont want 2 go, deepen clouds
    4]The Thunderstorms..
    The roares of thunder awakes
    The flash of streangth before you
    The winkle of colors in seconds
    The sounds gives you shivers
    Trees bounding upon the windows

  31. very c9oool. I love the poem, its awesome, I wish I was a cool guy

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