Examples of Metaphor Poems for Children

Tara Kunesh
Life is a journey

A metaphor is a type of figurative language, often used in poetry or literary prose. It is, in simplest terms, a comparison. It forms a link between two unlike things by stating one thing is another. The big difference between a metaphor and a simile is that similes use the words 'like,' or 'as.'

Original Metaphor Poems

These poems are original and were created by author, Tara Kunesh, specifically for LoveToKnow.

Childhood Home

This poem uses morning and home as metaphors for love and friendship. Tea time represents the idea of rest. It compares the physical structure of the home to a memory. Less obviously, it also uses the sounds and personification of the kettle and saucepan as symbols for familiarity, implied in the lines "You know me, you do," and "I know you, too." Overall, the idea of home represents safety and contentment.

Morning is love, when mom bids me arise,
Eggs shaped like hearts, a breakfast surprise.
The sun barely risen, looks down with a smile,
And says, "take your time, just sit for a while."
Tea time is rest, as the light starts to fade.
Homework is done and the table is laid.
The kettle whistles "You know me, you do."
The saucepan bubbles, "And I know you, too."
Though distance and time have claimed it from me,
This home lives within, a memory.
My room is a picture which stays in my head -
The books in the corner, the cat on the bed.
Home is my best friend, my partner, my all,
Be it ever so humble, be it ever so small.

The Zoo

The Zoo uses concrete metaphors, comparing different animals in the zoo to different types of people or professions.

Butler Penguin

I thought it rather strange today,
When visiting the zoo,
To find the creatures living there,
Are just like me and you.
So wild and acrobatic,
The monkeys in their cage,
Delight in swinging high and low,
Performers on a stage.
Dignified and tall, the penguins on the ice,
Waiters in their black and white,
Proper and precise.
Gazelles turn together,
A troupe of graceful, dancing girls,
Synchronized and slender,
Performing plies, jumps, and twirls.
Poor zebras are the prisoners,
Condemned for life, you know,
Their classic uniform of stripes,
Truly marks them so.
If I had all day, I'd surely make,
Some other metaphors,
For sloths, and tigers, elephants,
And even dinosaurs.

The Warrior

The Warrior compares two unlike things: a tiny Chihuahua and a Scottish warrior chieftain.

Each night he walks his kingdom and nods to all he meets,
His confident strut, his head held high; he roams through starlit streets.
He growls a swift hello, his eyes all aglow,
With warrior fire, and burning desire,
To be proud Scottish Chieftain.
Each night he dreams in 3-D, of dangerous battles galore,
Shining swords, flashing daggers, moated castles, and more.
His tartan wrapped tight; he enters the fight,
He leaps at his foe, but then they laugh low,
He is a Chihuahua you see.

A Strawberry Sundae

A Strawberry Sundae takes the idea of an ice-cream sundae and describes it as a landscape. The ice-cream is a snowy mountain, the strawberry syrup a river, and the sundae is topped with multicolored sprinkles which resemble tiny, fairy-like flowers.

Ice cream and strawberries dessert

The shining peaks of white,
The mountains soaring tall,
Traversed with scarlet rivers,
Multicolored waterfall.
Upon the mountains high,
Bright and vibrant shoots,
Are scattered like the trace,
Of tiny fairy fruits.
But what is this I see?
The mountains are receding,
The sugar river flowing swift,
Is quickly disappearing.
And now there's nothing left,
Of the mountains and the stream,
Except a trace of pinkish snow,
That smells like... ice cream.

Examples of Online Metaphor Poems for Children

  • Clouds by Christina Rossetti is a simple poem which at first, appears to be about sheep but is actually about clouds. If you read it aloud to someone without referencing the title, it makes a fun riddle.
  • Wynken, Blynken, and Nod by Eugene Field is a poem for young children which renders a regular children's bedtime scene into a thrilling adventure by making use of interesting metaphors.
  • Going Down Hill on a Bicycle by Henry Charles Beeching is a straightforward poem for children which compares the feeling of cycling downhill to floating in a boat.
  • Friends by Abbie Farwell Brown compares the things found in nature to comforting friends.
  • The Tyger by William Blake is a descriptive poem which compares, the tiger's eyes to fire, and God, or the Creator, to a blacksmith.
  • O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman is a poem written upon the death of Abraham Lincoln which uses the image of a ship's captain and a death at sea to describe and mourn the passing of President Lincoln.
  • Summer Sun by Robert Louis Stevenson compares the sun to the Gardener of the world.
  • The Writer by Richard Wilber uses the metaphor of a great cargo, or burden, to describe the seriousness of his young daughter's life.
  • "Hope" is the Thing With Feathers is a beautiful poem by Emily Dickinson which blends the image of a bird with hope.
  • Petals by Amy Lowell is a poem which may appeal to older children. In the poem, Lowell compares life to a stream.

Writing Metaphors

While teaching metaphors to a child can be tricky, concrete examples can make this somewhat abstract idea more lucid. Metaphors are often used in poetry and, therefore, poems make great tools for learning about this particular language device. To get started, try this mini lesson from Poetry 4 Kids and practice writing metaphors before attempting some original poetry.

A famous metaphor states, "Life is a journey." Writing is also a journey and metaphors should be part of that exploration.

Examples of Metaphor Poems for Children