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Do You Ever Bite Off More Than You Can Chew?

Updated on April 24, 2014


Imagine what it was like when you were first learning how to read.

Forming letters, sounds, and learning the exceptions to the rules.

Cherishing Dr. Seuss books as if they held all the secrets.

And Yes! Oh! The Places You Would Go!

All of the things you would hear.

Realizing later, some phrases are not meant to be taken literally.


Biting off more than you can chew is an example of figurative language.


Figurative language appears in many forms and quite often reveals an economical way of getting ideas across.

Instead of saying, “Hey, you are doing more than you are really able to do and it is going to catch up with you if you do not make some adjustments in your life,” the idiom (Biting off more than you can chew) only has seven words and relays the same message saving you and your listener from going the long way around. We call this phrase an idiom because it is a natural kind of way of talking among native speakers. We have heard it used before and understand the gist of it.

In this exercise, see if you can list the figures of speech such as puns or play on words and allusions or references to someone or something famous I use in the poem I wrote called, "Certified versus Certifiable." Then as an extension, write a poem in which you choose a figure of speech to focus on in your poem.

Perhaps, incorporate one or more of the following common forms of figures of speech: metaphor: “All the world IS a stage” -Shakespeare, simile: “All the world is [LIKE or AS] a stage” -Shakespeare, personification: “The stage feared for its life.” onomatopoeia: The stage buzzed and hissed with the excitement of opening night.” The last two examples - as far as I know - I just made them up.


Until next time, I hope I did not bite off more than I can chew.



: ) ocfireflies

Do you see any puns or allusions?



Figuratively speaking,

Certified versus Certifiable

How we live in a world filled with contradictions

Salutations, condemnations, connotations

Secrets swimming in lyrics…

Nothing is what it appears to be

Nothing is everything

A paradox for even the most intellectual among us…

Beautifully-crafted wonder

Explored by the most innate within us

Recycled, reused, reimagined.

Worlds dreamed by dreamers and poets

Word refreshed lexicons. And

Semantically, Colbert creates a nation

Travels farther than Gulliver

Stewarded by the voice of John…

Medicine men

Sit in circles

Pass the peace pipes

Dancers weave in and out

Artfully wearing their pride

Prejudices and promises…

Landing on all the world’s stages

Singing songs ready to dazzle the masses

Bravely walking out with microphone in hand

Facing judges and audience members alike

A child only knee-high

Sings…

Sings for the whole world

Reaching and finding

That place inside

Where a song

Sits waiting

Ready

To be sung

Over

and

Over

Again…

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very funny, Kim, but also very informative and helpful. I know many of our foreign friends for whom English is a second language have a great deal of trouble with these figures of speech. You slipped them into your poem as easily as a greased pig. :)

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

      If only pigs were actually greasy--Smiles, Kim

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 3 years ago from Taos, NM

      What a clever poem, Kim. I love how you wove this all together to make your point. Creative and unique! You are quite the writer and poet!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Kim, useful, fun and very informative. The English language can be beautiful, as you've shown in the poem, but it can also be extremely confusing. When we write without first acquiring all the right tools, we soon find ourselves up the proverbial creek without a paddle. :)

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Suzette,

      I really appreciate your comments. Sometimes, others do not see clever or unique, they only see weird. I do hope I can create some more "exercises" in the future that are woven more tightly.

      Jo,

      Oh the times I have managed to find myself up that creek and without that proverbial paddle. Thank you for leaving such thoughtful, yet fun comments.

      Big Smiles to You Both,

      Kim

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 3 years ago from Taos, NM

      Kim: you are definitely not weird! Lol. That's why others need to read what we write. I'd say you are a gifted writer after reading this poem.

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Suzette,

      Thank You.

      Kim

    • word55 profile image

      Word 3 years ago from Chicago

      Hi Kim, very clever with words and points. You're tops!-:)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Dear Kim,

      The words that have come to my mind are clever and unique, but I see that Suzzette has already stated that truth here! If I recall those are the words I used in my "Hug" to you. I truly enjoyed your exercise here. This is a delight to read and one can certainly take away much from your keen insight as to words ... you gifted writer you!

      One of the many things I love about you is that when I read your work, I know that it will not be anything predictable and always surprising and interesting, just like you ... and believe me, that is a good thing in this world, and especially in this writing world.

      I tend to bite off more than I can chew more times than not LOL

      Up and more, tweeting, pinning and sharing (Well, I do not see any share buttons here at the moment ... I shall return!)

      (((Hugs))) and much love to you sweetie.

      I hope you have a lovely weekend ahead,

      Faith Reaper

    • word55 profile image

      Word 3 years ago from Chicago

      Hi Kim, I admire this one so much! It's good to see you back and writing. You seem to get better with time -:)

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 3 years ago from Reno NV

      Kim this is so clever and enjoyable to read. I hope all is well and can't wait to read the next one! Jamie

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

      word55,

      Thank You. You sir, are tops. I really appreciate the support and encouragement.

      Faith,

      I love how you are always so supportive. I had some tech issues when I was trying to complete this hub and got a little frustrated. Thus, I feel like I could have done a better job if I had been able to complete the creation quicker than it took me. And I do appreciate you for appreciating my crazy style whatever that may be. Smiles. Sending you hugs and wishing a lovely weekend for you as well.

      Jamie,

      Thank You so much. I do hope to some more and hopefully find ways to make them more polished and reader-friendly.

      Wishing all lots of warmth,

      Kim

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      Hi Kim--I will echo everyone else here-very cleverly done--Loved how your words fit together!

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Audrey,

      Thank you for seeing that there was an attempt to have "words fit together." I will keep working on it.

      Kim

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      How very clever! I so enjoyed this Kim. This brought a smile on a very busy Sunday. Thank you!

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Genna,

      Always happy to bring on a smile. Thank You!

      Kim

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