BRIDGET WHELAN writer

Muse, News and Views

P is for PERSON-IFICATION

letter p

Personification gives objects or abstract concepts a human voice or quality. We all use it in everyday speech: time races by, shoes kill us, the wind moans. Advertisers use it, very small children use it when they are playing with their food and turn the ‘mato they do not want to eat into a jumping rabbit that hops right off the plate. Poets use it.

I am not cruel, only truthful –

from Mirror by Sylvia Plath

Emily Dickenson turned Death into a gentleman

Because I could not stop for Death–
He kindly stopped for me–
The Carriage held but just Ourselves–
And Immortality.

It can pack a punch. You can hear Shelley’s voice in these lines from the Mask of Anarchy. It was written not long after the Peterloo Massacre in 1819 when the cavalry charged into an unarmed crowd of men, women and children demanding parliamentary reform. About 20 died and over 400 were wounded 

     I met Murder on the way
     He had a mask like Castlereagh…

     Next came Fraud, and he had on,
     Like Eldon, an ermined gown;
     His big tears, for he wept well,
     Turned to mill-stones as they fell.
     And the little children, who
     Round his feet played to and fro,
     Thinking every tear a gem,
     Had their brains knocked out by them.

Almost 200 years later you can still feel the poet’s anger, can’t you?

I bet almost every newspaper or magazine you read today will have an example of personification in it.
Have you found any good examples or do some make you cringe?

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2 comments on “P is for PERSON-IFICATION

  1. Vikki Thompson
    April 18, 2013

    I LOVE personification, and I’ve dabbled….should really play with it again 🙂

    Thanks for the reminder Bridget!

    Xx

  2. bridget whelan
    April 18, 2013

    Play is the right word….and you never know where it will lead you. Have you read Syliva Plath’s poem about mushrooms? Inspiration to give a voice to something past it’s sell by date lurking at the bottom of the fridge….!!!

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This entry was posted on April 18, 2013 by in A-Z Challenge 2013 and tagged , , , , .
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