Personification is an important figure of speech, particularly so in poetry. People who use this literary tool in their free poetry competitions submissions are more likely to get their readers to connect to their work easily. This is because it is easier to relate to something that is close to or within you. It serves to pain a vivid image and grab the attention of the reader, draw upon their emotions and make the poem more memorable. You will more likely remember a statement like ‘bleeding lipstick’ than ‘red lipstick’.
What to personify?
Personification does not apply to human beings- that is the whole point of it. However, you can personify pretty much everything else under the sun including the sun itself. As aforesaid, this is a common stylistic device in poetry competitions partly because it is so cool and also because it is very easy to learn. Here are ways to go about using this style:
Essential elements of nature can be personified in poems as making them more human helps the reader connect with what is being said. For instance, to describe a vicious storm, you can say that the storm is furious or talk of the screaming stormy winds. This basically gives the storm emotional attributes and human capabilities. The reader is more likely to feel like they have experienced the emotion of the storm or understand the gravity of the storm by making them remember of the time they were ‘furious’ themselves.
Personifying animals is quite easy because you can effortlessly give animals human characteristics. Remember, the goal is not to make the material unrealistic, for example talking of singing cats. Whereas this is personification it can serve to confuse the reader. Good news is that you are not limited to human characteristics only. You can give objects characteristics of animals- that would still be personification. For example, remember our storm from earlier? What if you said the storm roared at the whole city? The fog stalked the little town of Townsville? Using personification is almost a surefire way that can get you to win free poetry competitions.
Giving an object life makes them have more power and novelty. An example is, instead of saying he waited for the door to open, you can say the door quietly stared at him. This creates a tense feeling between the door and the man. You have basically given the door human attitude as abovementioned, a clear way to make your poetry competitions submissions all the more interesting.
Emotions, concepts, and thoughts like envy or love can be personified as characters in a poem. In order to personify emotion or a concept, you need to imagine what these abstractions might feature. If it is a person, how would people view them or talk about them? In her poem Because I Could Not Stop for Death, Emily Dickinson portrays death carrying the speaker in a carriage. This makes death appear to be less scary than it is usually perceived to be. The goal of personification is to take normal everyday items or thoughts and make the more accessible to the audience.
Do you want to get your work noticed in poetry competitions? Using clever stylistic devices like personification brings your career to life. The best thing about this style is that you can use it on pretty much everything you can think. It is a simple and creative way to make your work relatable.