Emily Dickinson (left) and Joyce Kilmer (right) are two famous poets who used personification in their poetry. Click here to read two of their poems.
Personification occurs when a clever poet makes an object that is not alive (like a clock or a cloud) come alive through writing by giving it human verbs (like laugh or cry) and/or human characteristics (like fingers or lungs or emotion).
Here are three samples of personification that might be worked into a longer poem:
- The trees shivered in the wind...
- As I accelerated, the tires screamed in protest...
- Nostalgia is a comforting old friend...
This word game will give you the beginnings of some personification. Write the three-word sentence down...then put it inside a longer poem that it inspires. Make your personification the first line in your poem. Or the last. Or hide it somewhere inside your poem and challenge your friends to find it.
Don't make your object really come alive; just make it seem as though it MIGHT be alive.