Using Metaphors in Poems That Linger in Our Hearts

A hand holding out a paper that contains a poem that's using metaphors.

Photo by Sarah Mae on Unsplash

Poetry becomes more beautiful and remarkable when there are metaphors used in the right places. Let’s find out how words can linger in our hearts.

Metaphors are a powerful poetic tool for crafting poems that linger in the reader’s mind and heart. By drawing unexpected connections and transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary, metaphors can elevate a poem’s imagery, emotions, and universal resonance.

And in this case, Brion K. Hanks introduces to us a whole new world of thought-provoking poems about life. Additionally, that will make us reflect on the beauty and brevity of our soul. One of his books, “Tales of a Traveler in Poetry and Prose”, contains poems using metaphors that leave a lasting mark in each read. Furthermore, Brion K. Hanks shows us how this literary tool can be a powerful addition to the composition of poetry.

Tips On Using Metaphors Effectively

Brion K. Hanks wrote a lot of powerful poems that reflect love in its different facets. We will learn from his books as we uncover more of using metaphors to write lingering poems. How do we do it?

Choose Evocative, Unconventional Metaphors

Always strive to write down metaphors that surprise the reader and make them see the world in a new light. Avoid clichéd or predictable comparisons and use fresh, imaginative words. Furthermore, that should reveal hidden truths behind the poet’s emotions.

To make the poems more interesting, combine seemingly incongruous elements to create metaphors that jar the reader and force them to see things in a new light. Metaphors that contain tensions or paradoxes can be especially thought-provoking and memorable. Therefore, drawing inspiration from the metaphorical languages of music, visual art, dance, film, etc.  does allow for the forging of fresh poetry.

Connect Those Metaphors to The Human Senses

Keep using metaphors in a grounded way to produce rich lines and verses that makes the readers visualize. Moreover, they should also feel what the poet is trying to say. That is what Brion K. Hanks does in his poetry books, where the web of using metaphors connect together to make readers feel something. While reading Brion K. Hanks’ collection of poems, we will surely feel the world around us, which is his intention.

A good poem using metaphors should appeal to the senses of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. The more it connects to the human senses, the more realistic it becomes. In positive ways, we can feel how such poetry affects our hearts and souls.  

Dive Deeper into More Themes When Using Metaphors

Choose metaphors that resonate with lots of universal ideas, emotions, or experiences. And any poet like Brion K. Hanks would know by heart that personal experiences are the best sources for writing. It hits different when we know all too well what we’re talking about, especially when it’ coming from the bottom of our hearts.

Whether the themes of poems are happy, tragic, angry, etc., a deep dive into themes when using metaphors can be really useful. Let the metaphor serve as a symbolic representation or lens through which the reader can better understand what the poems seem to mean. And of course, it is for the reader to ultimately conclude how it affects them.

Stretch Those Metaphorical Muscles as Much as Possible

Rather than relying on a single metaphor, consider building upon it or introducing related metaphors that deepen and complicate the comparison. This creates a unifying thread that enhances the poem’s cohesion and impact. Avoid using metaphors in a single line or couplet – weave it through the entire poem. Introduce the metaphor, then build upon it, explore its different facets, and return to it in new ways throughout the work.

Additionally, mix and match those metaphors by combining multiple, related metaphors. This can create a richer, more nuanced collection of poetry. However, they should have a central theme that leads them to the same direction, especially towards the end.

Leave Some Room for The Readers’ Imagination

While your metaphors should have a clear resonance, avoid being overly dogmatic. Allow space for the reader to interpret the metaphor in their own way and draw personal connections and insights. Leaving room for the reader’s imagination is an important technique when crafting metaphors in poetry.

Moreover, you should resist the urge to spell out every detail and meaning of the metaphor. Give the reader enough info to understand the core comparison. Still, a poet can leave some uncertainty or vagueness,  yet openness, for the reader to fill in the blanks.

Choose metaphors that are open-ended enough for readers to project their own experiences, emotions, and memories onto. This creates a more intimate, resonant connection.

Provoking The Human Heart and Soul Through Poetry

The highest callings of the poetic craft are one of the best parts of using poetry. Engage the reader’s senses through vivid, embodied imagery that makes them feel as if they are experiencing the poem firsthand. This physicality helps transport the reader beyond mere intellect into the realms of emotion and intuition.

Remember to write with rawness, vulnerability, and authenticity. Don’t shy away from expressing the full depth and complexity of human emotion, even when it’s messy or uncomfortable. Furthermore, balance the broad, classic themes with specific, personal details drawn from your own lived experiences. This specificity grounds the universal in the particular, making it more relatable and impactful.

If you enjoy reading poetry that’s filled with love and loss, where courage and character matter, grab a copy of Brion K. Hanks’ book, Tales of a Traveler in Poetry and Prose as it is highly recommended. Take yourselves into a world of poetry and prose that’s thought-provoking and inspirational. You won’t regret it but will come away with the realization that right human relations are enhanced because of what Brion K. Hanks writes about.