What is personification and how is it used in poetry?

1 Answer
Mar 23, 2018

Personification attributes human characteristics to something nonhuman, such as inanimate objects, nature, or animals. It is often used in poetry involving art or nature to give what is being described a more relatable, vibrant air.


Personification attributes human traits to anything nonhuman.

It could be applied to nature:

"The winds sighed despondently."

Sighing with a specific tone (despondently) is a human action.

Or an animal:

"The dog's eyes solemnly conveyed his desire for freedom."

Clearly desiring something is a human action.

Or inanimate objects:

"The cracked vase conveyed a sense of endurance, remaining forever strong in the face of eternity."

Exhibiting strength is a human action.

Personifying something allows the reader to sympathize or relate to it. Generally, people have a hard time fully understanding something if a common bridge is absent. Here, human traits are the common bridge. So, in poems personification provides a sense of relatability and life to things that would otherwise have neither.