Q:

How do poems on love employ personification?

A:

Poems on love use personification when they attribute human characteristics to nonhuman objects. This can be accomplished by assigning emotions, actions or personality traits to objects or animals that do not truly have these capabilities.

Love poems are replete with examples of personification. Shakespeare's Sonnet XIX reads, "And make the earth devour her own sweet brood." In this line, Shakespeare personifies the earth by giving it a gender designation (her) and by assigning it the action of devouring her brood.

In this poem, personification is used to emphasize the narrator's feeling of desperation not to lose the woman he loves to the inevitability of aging and death. By personifying the earth, as well as time in other passages of this sonnet, the narrator engages his readers, drawing them in and making them empathize with his strong emotions. Shakespeare uses personification throughout the poem to demonstrate the depth of the narrator's love for this woman. He loves her so desperately that he implores time to stop.

Poems on love use personification to represent the power and feeling of love, which is by nature intangible and difficult to describe. Through the use of personification, love can be given attributes and actions and made more tangible.


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