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Willow and Gingko

Identify the Similes in this poem. Highlight them on your own paper. Then take each line and pick out the most important word in that line. Finally, pick out two phrases in each stanza that you think are important. Explain what you mean.

Willow and Ginkgo

By: Eve Merriam


The willow is like an etching,

Fine-lined against the sky.

The ginkgo is like a crude sketch,

Hardly worthy to be signed.

The willow’s music is like a soprano,

Delicate and thin.

The ginkgo’s line is like a chorus

With everyone joining in.


The willow is sleek as a velvet-nosed calf;

The ginkgo is leathery as an old bull.

The willow’s branches are like silken thread;

The ginkgo’s like stubby rough wool.


The willow is like a nymph with streaming hair;

Wherever it grows, there is green and gold and fair.

The willow dips into the water,

Protected and precious, like the king’s favorite daughter.


The ginkgo forces its way through gray concrete;

Like a city child, it grows up in the street.

Thrust against the metal sky,

Somehow it survives and even thrives.

My eyes feast upon the willow,

But my heart goes to the ginkgo.

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