Metaphors are indirect comparisons between any two things. We use them all the time. Be it in our daily lives, when writing prose and poetry, when finishing an essay or perhaps a reflection of daily life. Many authors express writing talent in the form of metaphors in order to get a point across to the reader. Since the beginning of time, ever since man discovered the art of expression and ink, metaphors have become the essence of any creative art form.
Look out for the distinct two entities being compared. These comparisons may not be obvious or direct. One has to draw a parallel or link between the two concepts.Imagery and mental pictures are the general form in which metaphors are used and expressed. An example to demonstrate this point will be " My life in dewdrops precious on a spiders web". This point compares two or more aspects that can be interpreted in ways by which the entity of life, being precious as diamonds. We can then form a link with diamonds as the dewdrops, since the word "diamonds" signifies this concept. The other half relates life to a spiders web. We all know that a web is entangling, ensnares its victim which relates to entrapment. This example in simple terms compares two entities which forms a common entity.
Ensure that words "As" or "Like" are not present in the statement. The presence of these words makes it a direct comparison. Any direct comparison becomes a "simile" and cannot be called a metaphor. For example " the river is like a snake". This phrase is simple and a direct connection can be made between a river and the snake. An important point to remember.
See your life as a series of metaphors. If you had to compare your life to something right now, it becomes an expression, called a metaphor. Lets assume you describe your current state as the "Titanic". This one word describing your plight simply implies, that you have no control and life is bad, an inevitable possibility of sinking and destruction to self. Life is a series of metaphors. This idea brings to understanding that metaphors are not specifically restricted to poetry and prose only.
Understand that imagery and any art form is a metaphor. Understand that imagery and any art form is a metaphor. A painting or picture tells you something about expression , mood, emotion and gives you a hidden message behind the scene being observed. One can give life to the painting by mere thoughts or any response to the picture. An example to illustrate this point. For a moment, imagine a picture with two extremes. A beautiful, tranquil garden on one side and the devastating wave washing over everything, in the very same picture. Here the serene and tranquil side of nature is being compared to the devastating or destructive forces of the very same nature. It can also be symbolic of the painters mood or as a symbol of life itself.
Look for these comparisons in creative literature. When reading poetry or any non scientific material, make the effort to find these concepts. It will make reading and understanding of the reading material much more interesting and wholesome.
6See your own life as a metaphor. If you had to describe yourself or your life right now, what will you compare it to? This becomes a metaphor as soon as you link or see your life as a specific entity, which is whatever you choose compare it to.
Always remember that a metaphor is an INDIRECT COMPARISON between two or more things or concepts.
It will not have the words "as" or "like", to make the comparison obvious. In this instance the comparison becomes a "simile" and cannot be referred to as a metaphor.
Understanding comes with practice. The more you read the better will you be able to grasp the concept of a metaphor.