butterfly on wildflower

Source: Zebra Blue, Ajith U, Flickr

We read, hear, and use figurative language daily. We encounter two of the most common forms of figurative language—simile and metaphor—when we read, listen to music, watch films, or search the Internet. In this lesson, you will learn to identify the similes and metaphors that appear in different kinds of writing, such as fiction, nonfiction, poetry, songwriting, advertising, and movie dialogue, and in publications, such as newspapers, magazines, and books. You will distinguish between a simile and a metaphor, explore extended metaphors, and evaluate the importance of figurative language in understanding the meaning of a text. In figuring out meaning, you will look for the author's intent and tone. You will see that authors use similes and metaphors to entertain, inspire, and persuade their listeners and readers. Listen to “Love Song with Metaphors” and think about the figurative language Paul E. Cargill uses to contrast “my love” with “your love.”

Source: “Love Song with Metaphors,” Paul and Storm, YouTube

The song begins with a sweet, light-hearted tone. When the first contrast is established between “my love” and "your love,” the listener is surprised and amused. While “my love is a butterfly” (something natural and beautiful), “your love is an entomologist” with a net bent on chasing the butterfly down and pinning it into a collection of many other butterflies. What is the singer saying about his relationship with another through these metaphors? Perhaps he is suggesting that his love is pure while hers is possessive. He is merely another specimen to add to her collection.

One of the final images suggested in the song compares the singer’s love to a tiny puppy (innocent and dependent) while the other person’s love is like an “underground dog fighting ring.” Answer this question using yournotes: What is Cargill implying about the relationship with these images?

Check Your Understanding

Sample Response:

The singer sees himself as a helpless, innocent victim in an aggressive, destructive relationship. He doesn’t think she loves him as purely and selflessly as he loves her.