Tuesday 26 April 2022

NaPoWriMo (Day 26): A flash of orange

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 Homeric similes, 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 Paradise Lost). 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.

Flash of orange
As the train trundled out of the grey station,
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.
He grasped each metal pole as if it were
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.
The other passengers veered backwards,
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.
Copyright Vickie Johnstone, April 26, 2022


  1. So happy to see this featured--it was my favorite from yesterday!

    1. Oh wow, I got featured! I'm shocked! Thanks, Alexandra.

  2. Congratulations Vickie. This is a fabulous poem. The images are so vivid that I can see the poem playing in front of my eyes.
    This: "The other passengers veered backwards,
    into the recesses, " read like a commentary on the world we inhabit.
    And of course the 'metal-can jungle'-- metaphor/truth--Brilliant!


Thanks for commenting :)