Cliché: an over-used phrase or opinion. For example ‘Home is where the heart is’ or ‘brave as a lion’ or ‘falling head over heals in love’. The easiest way to tell if something’s a cliché is to think if you’ve ever heard it before, or, of course, Google it and see if the phrase comes up somewhere else.
Simile: a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind. We find similes in our speech all the time, when we say something is ‘fast as lightning’ or ‘as strong as an ox’. Similes are great for painting clear pictures in people’s minds and getting them to understand you better, however always watch out for clichés, lots of similes have been used hundreds of times before so try and be original! A good example of simile is Roger Robinson’s ‘Shine the lamp on it like the fresh hope/of morning’.
Metaphor: a comparison which is not literally true. It suggests what something is like by comparing it with something else with similar characteristics. it differs from a simile because it compares something directly to another thing rather than using ‘as’ or ‘like’.
Abstract: If something is ‘abstract’ it means it only exists as an ideas or thought but doesn’t have a physical or concrete existence. Emotions are all abstract, ‘love’ ‘hate’ ‘joy’ ‘jealousy’. You cannot literally see, smell, taste, touch or hear them. However, they’re very important to poetry, they’re the basis of why we write poems, because we feel or recognize abstract things. However it’s important in your poems that, through metaphor and simile you make these things concrete and original. So give love a colour, give hate a sound, give joy a taste, tell me what’s its like to touch jealousy.