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Theory:

A figure of speech is a word or phrase, that deviates from the ordinary language, in such a way that it has a different meaning from the original written meaning in the poem.
There are many types of figure of speech in poetry such as Metaphor, Personification, Simile etc.
A metaphor is a figure of speech that makes an implicit, implied, or hidden comparison between two things that are unrelated, but which share some common characteristics. Metaphors are used to dramatize thoughts to emphasize and elevate the expression to a higher intensity.
Example:
1. Jack was fishing for compliments - In the real sense, Jack cannot be casting a lure to catch compliments from a river! It just means he was looking for compliments.
2. John was so hungry that he could eat a horse - In the real sense, it means he was extremely hungry, and he could eat a lot of food, but not a whole horse!
3. The sun is a golden ball - In the real sense, one cannot throw and play with the golden ball that the sun is!
Metaphor in "The Ball Poem":
  • Balls will always be lost - The poet is indicating that possessions will always be lost. The balls signify the future loss that the boy has to face with responsibility taking over in life.