A metaphor equates two things not because they are the same but because there is a symbolic resemblance or comparison.
A metaphor can not be taken literally. In many cases I think that the more surprising they are the better they are.
A metaphor can be used not only in poetry but also in other texts and in day to day speech.
What is special in poetry is that the poet has to find unique metaphors. Our day to day language is filled with metaphors that have become idioms, cliches or just part of our day to day language.
Today I would like you to take words and things around you and try to equate them to something symbolic such as an emotion, or the description of a person.
To make them unique fill the imagery with descriptions. For example don’t just say a car but say a rusty yellow 1977 Volkswagen Beetle… Make them as rich and specific as you can. ~
Red rage, viscous as molten lava, began secretly,
buried beneath dust and duff, internally combusting
beneath the heat and pressure of the woodland floor –
too many fallen leaves and branches,
enough to build a shelter or a bookcase, if only
someone – him? Her? Had taken up the tools at hand.
But no, the tangled fallout of a dozen storms
lay undisturbed, generating heat until one day
a tiny wisp of smoke drifted up, gasped oxygen,
flamed full-blown into blaze, and burned the forest down.