Figures of Speech in D. H. Lawrence’s BAT


The figures of speech in the poem that can be found in D. H. Lawrence’s poem, Bat, are simile, repetition, rhetorical question, metaphors, personification and alliteration.

These figures of speech contribute immensely to the beautiful language, balanced flow of imageries and the straightforward conveyance of messages.

Now, let’s identify some of the expressions that fall within the highlighted figures of speech.



The following expressions are instances of simile in the poem:

  1. “like a glove, a black glove thrown up at night” (line 23)
  2. “Wings like little bits of umbrella” (line 37)
  3. “Creatures that hang themselves like an old rag, to sleep” (line 39)
  4. “Hanging themselves upside down like rows of disgusting rags” (line 41)

Read Also:

▪️ Poem: BAT by D. H. Lawrence
▪️ A Brief Overview of D. H. Lawrence’s BAT


Repetition can occur on a word, phrasal, clausal or sentential level. In Bat, repetition occurs on a word level. The word, “Bats”, is repeated several times in the poem. It is repeated in lines 26, 31, 32, 38, 43 and as “bat” with the definite article in line 44.

Rhetorical Question

There is an instance of rhetorical question in line 38 when the poetic persona throws open a rhetorical question, “Swallows?”; one he leaves no one to answer other than himself.


Some examples of metaphor in the poem include:

  1. “… the tired flower of Florence …” (line 4)
  2. Swallows with spools of dark thread …” (line 11)
  3. Little lumps that fly in air …” (line 36)


Expressions that qualify for the use of personification in the poem include:

  1. “When the Sun, from the west, beyond Pisa, beyond the mountains of Carrara,/Departs …” (lines 2-3)
  2. “When the tired flower of Florence is in gloom beneath the glowing/Brown hills surrounding” (lines 4-5)


Alliteration is used in the following lines:

  1. “… flower of Florence … ” (line 4)
  2. “… gloom beneath the glowing”
  3. “… a twitch, a twitter …” (line 21)
  4. “… swallows with spools of dark thread sewing the shadows together” (line 11)
  5. Little lumps …” (line 36)


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