Tattoos on the Heart Metaphors and Similes

Tattoos on the Heart Metaphors and Similes


Inspired by the words of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Father Boyle is big on the concept of never forgetting that God is greater than any—or, indeed—all of us. This idea is conceptualized in a particularly resonant metaphor:

“Perhaps we should all marinate in the intimacy of God.”

The Poetry of Hafez

A 14th century Persian poet named Hafez is quoted in full from a verse titled “With that Moon Language.” The poem features a couplet which also resonates with Father Boyle’s philosophy—in this case, the idea of looking at people as God might look at them. Fully and without the judgment of partial knowledge.

“Why not become the one

Who lives with a full moon in each eye”

"She is Jesus in an apron."

The above quote is an example of a simple metaphor. The comparison is applied to a particularly friendly waitress relative to the decidedly less friendly reception experienced earlier.


The comparisons that make a simile effective tend to be based on familiarity. After all, if one doesn’t recognize the thing being compared to, how can they understand the thing which requires a comparison? Such familiarity can also allow the simile to be used for the dramatic or humorous purposes:

“Beto guts the iguana, and it begins to simmer in the pot (and, yes, it tastes just like chicken).”

"Smells like commitment."

This sentence fragment (spoken in Spanish) is a simile made in response to another earlier observation. That one was another familiar comparison, but one that is a bit more subjective than the taste of chicken. It is reference the lingering odor inside a church resulting from its use as an overnight shelter for the homeless which, to one member, makes the church “smells like feet.”

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