For the month of April, I’m writing a poem a day from prompts on https://www.napowrimo.net. You can click on the headlines (Day One, etc) to view/add comments. There’s also a list of participants’ sites below the site header.
And now for our daily prompt (optional, as always). A couple of days ago, we played around with hard-boiled similes. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that contains at least one of a different kind of simile – an epic simile. Also known as , these are basically extended similes that develop over multiple lines. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they have mainly been used in epic poems, typically as decorative elements that emphasize the dramatic nature of the subject (see, by way of illustration, this example from Milton’s ). But you could write a complete poem that is just one lengthy, epic simile, relying on the surprising comparison of unlike things to carry the poem across. And if you’re feeling especially cheeky, you could even write a poem in which the epic simile spends lines heroically and dramatically describing something that turns out to be quite prosaic. Whatever you decide to compare, I hope you have fun extending your simile(s) to epic lengths.
the eager man in his orange, reflective vest
blazed his way through the carriage
like an orangutan swinging between branches,
looking for the swiftest route through
the fervent foliage and busyness of leaves.
a leafy rope of green, bristling with burs,
dangling from the gasping trees of the
languid rainforest, his skin sweating profusely
in the sauna-like heat of the black tunnel.
into the recesses, not wanting to make contact
or slow him down, so candidly intent was his
expression on becoming the king of this
urban metal-can jungle.