Definition of Symbolism:
The use of an object or action with the intent of representing something beyond the object itself.

Example of Symbolism #1:


    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Example of Symbolism #2:


And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.

Symbolism Example

Symbolism in poetry:
  • Definition of symbolism
  • Examples of symbolism
  • Examples of authors using symbolism
  • Explanation of how symbolism is used

Why are poetry examples important?

Studying examples of poems using various poetic devices like symbolism helps create an understanding of how those poetry terms work within different types of poetry.  For instance examples of poems using onomatopoeia can illustrate how sounds can be represented in poems.  Likewise, examples of poems using alliteration can shed light on how alliteration affects the rhythm of a poem.  Many poems can be an example of symbolism, but sometimes good examples are hard to find.  You'll find relevant, concise poetry examples here. 

Can Poems be examples of more than one poetry term?

Absolutely.  Examples of poems using hyperbole are also examples of figurative language, since hyperbole is considered a type of figurative language.  That's just one example.  Poems usually contain multiple poetic terms and devices like symbolism.  The poetry examples contained in this site often link to other poetry devices of which that poem serves as an example.  However, we provide unique examples for each poetry term wherever possible.

Slideshow:    Symbolism

Symbolism Video

Symbolism Poem

See also:    Metaphor