Choose a simile or metaphor that you believe is particularly interesting or appropriate in its expression of the similarities between two subjects. Write an essay in which you develop a full and detailed presentation of that figure of speech as an analogy.
Robert Burns (1759-96), a popular poet from Scotland, lives again each January 25th, when millions around the world celebrate his poetry. In his poetry, Burns expresses his concern for people of the working class. He is also one of the first poets to question the treatment of women and children in society. Robbie Burns is best remembered for his love poetry. The following selection is one of his better-known ballads.
A Red, Red Rose, by Robert BurnsO my luve is like a red, red rose That's newly sprung in June; My love is like the melodie That's sweetly played in tune. As fair art thou, my bonny lass, So deep in luve am I; And I will luve thee still, my dear, Till a' the seas gang dry. Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear, And the rocks melt wi' the sun; I will luve thee still, my dear, While the sands o' life shall run. And fare thee weel, my only love! And fare thee weel, awhile! And I will come again, my love Though it were ten thousand mile.
Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-94) is a well-known poet of the Victorian period. She was acclaimed for her poetic skill and distinctive style. Some recurrent themes in her poetry are of unhappy, delayed, or frustrated love. “A Birthday,” one of her best known poems, has a more positive theme.
A Birthday by Christina RossettiMy heart is like a singing bird Whose nest is in a water'd shoot; My heart is like an apple-tree Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit; My heart is like a rainbow shell That paddles in a halcyon sea; My heart is gladder than all these, Because my love is come to me. Raise me a daïs of silk and down; Hang it with vair and purple dyes; Carve it in doves and pomegranates, And peacocks with a hundred eyes; Work it in gold and silver grapes, In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys; Because the birthday of my life Is come, my love is come to me.
- Burns and Rossetti both use a common literary technique, the metaphor, to describe feelings of love. Identify and discuss the similarities and the differences between the two poems.
- What effect does the repetition of the phrases create in the poems? Do you like the effect that is created? Why or why not?
- Choose your own personal metaphor for describing love. Write a poem, song, or short narrative or create a collage of images which incorporates your metaphor for love.
Immigration has occurred at some point in the background of all Canadians, even those who are now called “native” or “first nation” peoples. Choose one of these topics:
- My ancestral homeland
- The arrival of my ancestor(s) in Canada
- My immigration to Canada
Select the most appropriate to you. Focus it to fit your circumstances, knowledge, and interest.
Now take a page of notes, perhaps consulting a parent, grandparent, or family records. Think about the importance, even the heroic, legendary, or mythic qualities you may see in this topic – then write your “discovery draft.” In the next version heighten these overtones by clothing bare fact in a variety of poetical devices (especially metaphor). Test your prose by reading aloud, before publishing the final version.