Simile-ing from Ear to Ear

After a few weeks off, we were back with poetry at Volta; and what better way to dive into the deep end than with Harryette Mullen’s “Wipe That Simile Off Your Aphasia”? This poem is quite unlike anything we’ve read so far. The students were familiar with similes, but noticed that the poet wasn’t making ‘normal’ comparisons here. An explanatory note clarified what aphasia is, and the class decided the poem was about the disorder, emulating what it must be like for the afflicted person. Still, as we ‘unpacked’ some of its language, certain lines began to make more and more sense, even if the poem as a whole didn’t (at least not narratively). The lack of capital letters or punctuation, as well as being composed in a single stanza, also fit in with the idea of a loss of ability to understand or express speech coherently.

For their own compositions, students could follow Mullen’s example, or think of something and write about it using as many similes as possible.

Ms. Yim, 4th Grade

Hiba E.

as sly as a fox
as strong as an ox
as free as a bird
as mean as a word
as white as albino
as buzzy as a bee
as icy as an igloo
as cold as winter
as hot as summer
as yummy as pasta
as square as lasagna
as clingy as a hook
as tired as a sloth
as cute as a kitten
as rainy as spring
as dramatic as a movie
as scary as Momo
as funny as a prank
as big as a plane
as long as a lane
as red as pepper
as green as its stem
as reflective as a mirror
as smart as me

As Gold
Azaleya I.

as golden as
sun as yellow
as a banana
as yellow
as a pencil
and as gold
as a burger

Alex L.

as big as a house
but as small as a smile
as big as a watermelon
as small as a fly
as small of this world.

As She Is
Kaylee O.

as hot as the sun
as yellow she is
as never she was
as crazy she is
as sweet she was
as hope she had
as mad she was
as scary like a bear
as hopeless she is now
as cold she is
as fearless she is
as cold she is

Aarav P.

As my water bottle is red.
As I like books.
As I like cars.

Prince P.

As big as the clouds as it
has so many rocks as cold
as ice looks like a triangle.
It has roads people go there
you cannot fall down.

Joshua Q.

as colorful
as a cupcake

as cool as Kool-Aid

Eliseo V.

as cold as ice
as hot as the sun
as fast as an animal
as sweet as candy
as crazy as Ohio
as thin as a paper
as big as a book
as violent as fighting



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.