What are some examples of figurative language in the poem, "Myself," by Edgar A. Guest?

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kathik eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Edward A. Guest's poem, "Myself," there are several examples of figurative language. In the fifth line, the "setting sun" is symbolic of the end of life. The narrator doesn't want to have to look back over his life when he is old and be disappointed in himself for making poor choices or for taking actions he should not have taken. He wants to be able to look back and be proud of who he was.

Guest continues along this line when he writes,

"I don't want to keep on a closet shelf

a lot of secrets about myself,

and fool myself as I come and go

into thinking no one will ever know

the kind of person I really am..."

Again, he wants to live an honest life and to be who he really is rather thanĀ  someone who is not authentic. The "closet shelf" is symbolic of a secretive life or one that is false.

A third example is a metaphor:

"I don't want to look at myself and know that

I am bluster and bluff and empty show."

Guest does not want to be compared to an "empty show." He wants to be able to look back and see himself as someone who did not put on a false front, someone who didn't bluff his way through life.

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