Writing Technique - Personification
Personification is the writing technique of infusing human characteristics into inanimate objects or non-human living things (such as animals or plants).
The image to the left of Lightning McQueen from the film "Cars" is a visual personification of a race car used to illustrate this concept for better understanding.
When writing your lyrics using this technique the effect will be the same; you're making the object you're referring to more human.
As humans we naturally connect with each other. Even if we're from different backgrounds, points of view and experiences, there's a common unity we can feel with other human beings.
And when we give those traits to non-human things it helps your audience to form a deeper bond with that specific thing.
Personification also helps paint a more vivid description of the scene you're describing since we naturally understand how humans function, react and interact in our world.
Examples of Personification in Poems and Songs
From Popular Poems
- Olivia Kooker - "Winter"
- Patricia L. Cisco - "Sing to me, Autumn"
- Ashley Hyder - "Destined To Fly"
- Alfred Lord Tennyson - "The Brook"
From Popular Songs
- Green Day - "Good Riddance"
- Tim McGraw - "Highway Don't Care"
- Frank Sinatra - "New York, New York"
- George Michael - "Careless Whisper"
- Michael Jackson - "Thriller"
If you desire to be a poet...
Take some time each day to read the works of your favorite poet. Identify the writing technique they use, and then once a week - for 8 weeks - try to duplicate one of their written works.
If you desire to be a lyricist and/or songwriter...
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Updated: April 3, 2020
Can you spot the personification in any of the songs I listed? Post in the comments below.
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