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The Tired Sun: A Personified Poem

Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher who writes about various subjects, including education and creative writing.


The Tired Sun

The tired sun

wants to rest

in the cool, cool Pacific.

But the sun,

an artist at heart,

creates one more masterpiece.

It paints the white clouds orange

and lays out a path of fire

on the cool, cool Pacific.

The intensity of the colors,

the majesty of life,

unfolds on this final canvas.


the giant sinks in the west,

beyond the horizon,

with the night quickly following

to prepare the canvas

for the stars and moon.

Its job is done.

Its day is done.

But, it leaves a small reminder;

the sky in the west glows

and slowly fades

as the tired sun exits the sky


the cool, cool Pacific.

First Draft 1982

originally written in my 6th grade class from Dean Traylor

originally written in my 6th grade class from Dean Traylor

What Do Saturday Morning Cartoon Characters and Poetry Have in Common?

About Personification...

Personification is more of a literary device than a genre of poetry. It belongs under the umbrella of figurative speech. However, there are numerous poems composed in this device.

By definition, personification is a descriptive use of words and language in which animals and inanimate objects take on human-like qualities. In most cases, it is used to convey a description or give a non-human object some personality. Another definition given by Babette Deutch in her influential book Poetry Handbook: A Dictionary of Terms, states that “the characters in an allegory are apt to be personifications, or abstract vices and virtues represented as persons.”

Most often, cartoon characters such as Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse or SpongeBob Squarepants can be considered a form of direct personification. However, this form of allegory can be much more complex. In poetry, it’s usually a mundane object that is described in figurative language. In his poem about fog, Carl Sandburg uses comparisons of a cat’s paw to describe the fog coming over a hill. In the poem, "The Tired Sun", personification is used as part of an extended metaphor in which the sun is compared to an artist, a giant, and a tired person.

While personification is a literary device that can be found in nearly every form of writing (including non-fiction or essays), the device is often heightened in a poem. In fact, many poems can be labeled “personified poem,” for they will be comprised entirely of personifications.

© 2012 Dean Traylor

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