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Poetry With Hyperboles: Hyperbole is the need for over-exaggeration to create the significance of humor. It’s not intended to be taken literally. Rather, it’s assumed to drive a point home and make the reader understand just how much the writer felt at that moment.
Throughout the old ages, hyperbole has materialized in poetry time and time again. If you can not be dramatic in poetry, where can you? Hyperbole bolsters express ever-lasting love, a broken heart, or feelings of gloom in an amplified tone. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some effervescent illustrations of hyperbole in poems and watch these preeminent masters turn up the heat on any given emotion.
Poetry With Hyperboles: Definition
Hyperbole evolved from a Greek word meaning “over-casting,” which is a symbol of speech that engages an exaggeration of ideas for the sake of emphasis.
It is a device that we use in our day-to-day speech. For instance, when you meet a friend after a lengthy time, you say, “It’s been ages since I last saw you.” You may not have seen him for three or four hours, or a day, but the use of the word “ages” exaggerates this description to add significance to your wait. Therefore, hyperbole is an unbelievable exaggeration to emphasize the real situation.
Examples of Poetry With Hyperboles
From the ancient Grecian master, Homer, to the 20th-century text power of W.H. Auden, some of the greats disclosed their hyperbolic imagination beautifully.
1. The Iliad
Homer, for example, loved using hyperbole in his tales. In The Iliad, he said the god Mars cried out
“as loudly as nine or ten thousand men.”Homer
Absolutely, one man could never make that much noise, but it must have been a cry that Mars felt from the very depths of his heart.
2. To His Coy Mistress
Andrew Marvell was a 17th century metaphysical English poet that often used hyperbole in his writing. One famous example comes from “To His Coy Mistress,” where we can certainly feel how much he treasured her:
“A hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast;
But thirty thousand to the rest.”
3. The Concord Hymn
Have you ever heard the expression, “The shot heard ’round the world?” It’s hyperbole that refers to the beginning of the American Revolution. Although the shot wasn’t heard on the other side of the globe, those who were in its near presence understood its gravity. It comes from a poem written by Ralph Waldo Emerson called “The Concord Hymn:”
“Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.”
4. A Red, Red Rose
In “A Red, Red, Rose” by Robert Burns, the narrator says he’ll love his bonnie lass:
“Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.”
5. I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
William Wordsworth is reflecting upon a long row of daffodils he saw in “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.” Although they were plentiful and beautiful, it’s unlikely they were quite as expansive as the milky way:
“Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in a never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand I saw at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.”
6. As I Walked Out One Evening
W.H. Auden was an English-American poet who often used hyperbole. In his poem, “As I Walked Out One Evening,” Auden’s expressing his everlasting love and, although China and Africa are as likely to touch borders as America and Australia, the exaggeration says it all.
“I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love you
Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sing in the street.”
7. My Heart Beats for You
Hyperbole is frequently utilized in the context of romantic love, as is the case with this short poem by LoveToKnow’s Kelly Roper. Consider the beating heart of passion:
“One thousand stampeding bison thundering across the plains
Couldn’t drown out the sound of my heart beating for you.
Its rhythm feeds the greatest symphony ever known to man,
Yet such life-transforming love is experienced by so few.”
8. The Tantrum Felt Round the World
Also by Kelly Roper, this poem will resonate with many frustrated parents dealing with a child refused another scoop of ice cream. It’s figuratively the end of the world:
When little Janie’s mother told her, “No more ice cream,”
Janie’s face turned red, and her ears began to steam.
Her body trembled harder than a huge earthquake,
And when she opened up her mouth, let there be no mistake,
She let out the most terrifying, awful shrieking scream,
The likes of which a million banshees only dared to dream.”
Function of Hyperbole
The above cases make fair the use of hyperbole. In our daily communication, we use hyperbole to organize an amusing effect or to reiterate our meaning. However, in literature, it has very serious implications. By using hyperbole, a writer or a poet compose common human feelings remarkable and acute to such an extent that they do not remain ordinary.
In literature, the usage of hyperbole advances contrasts. When one thing is represented with an over-statement, and the other thing is presented normally, a fascinating contrast is developed. This method is employed to catch the reader’s attention.