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Sample Personification Essays

Examples of Personification in Poetry

Poem: "The Cat and the Fiddle" by Mother Goose - Let's start with an easy one to give you an example of poetry analysis.

Personification: The dish ran away with the spoon.

Analyisis: Mother Goose includes a dish running away with a spoon to emphasize the otherworldliness and silliness of the setting of her poem. Keep in mind the audience. Little children find cows jumping over the moon, dogs laughing, and dishes running believable and enjoyable.

Poem: "Two Sunflowers Move into the Yellow Room" by Nancy Willard

Personification: "Ah, William, we're weary of weather," / said the sunflowers, shining with dew. / "Our traveling habits have tired us. / Can you give us a room with a view?"

Analysis: Sunflowers can't speak...unless they're part of a poem that has personified them. These two jovial talking sunflowers contribute to the poem's mood. They seem like jolly good sunflowers, don't they? Nancy Willard wrote this poem as part of a children's book titled "A Visit to William Blake's Inn. This is typical of her poetry about simple objects that hint at a larger narrative.

Personification is a figure of speech where human qualities are given to animals, objects or ideas.

In the arts, personification means representing a non-human thing as if it were human. Personification gives human traits and qualities, such as emotions, desires, sensations, gestures and speech, often by way of a metaphor.

Personification is much used in visual arts. Examples in writing are "the leaves waved in the wind", "the ocean heaved a sigh" or "the Sun smiled at us". In easy language personification is just giving an example of a living being for a non-living thing. "The wind shouted". Obviously the wind cannot shout, only people can. This is what is called personification.

A few more examples of personification in sentences:

  1. The stars danced playfully in the moonlit sky.
  2. Opportunity was knocking at her door.
  3. At precisely 6:30 am my alarm clock sprang in to life.
  4. The tornado ran through town without a care.
  5. Time creeps up on you.
  6. The hare laughed at the tortoise.
  7. The tsunami raced towards the coastline.
  8. The sun smiled and chased away the angry clouds.
  9. The pencil danced across the paper.
  10. The moon smiled upon the river.
  11. The words hesitated to escape his mouth.
  12. The sun was getting ready to take its nightly rest.

Another commonly used personification is found in storybooks where animals are commonly attributed names or labels for recognition. This is called anthropomorphism. Organisms may also be used as embodiment or incarnations of a concept, for example Loki represents sin in the movie, Thor.

Other words for comparing a person with an object are Anthropomorphism and Objectification.

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