From a Swedish song (translated):

Standing at your door, just standing still
A minute ago, you were mine
A third of who I was goes home
Because one is crushed, one is yours
This is the end of our movie

Is that a metaphor? It's not literally meant, but it doesn't really compare two things either. If it's not, what is this called?

Obviously, he physically goes home (his whole body), but only a third of his soul/person accompanies his body, one third is crushed or ruined and the third part does still belong to and stays at his ex-girlfriend place.

Edit: Would a personification be a better term to describe it? The soul is given human qualities- goes (or walks), is crushed, belongs to.

Also, it's more clear in Swedish that "who I was" refers to his soul and not his body. "A third of the person I was goes home" would perhaps be a better translation.

  • 2
    The comparison is between a fraction of the body mass and an estimated equivalent proportion of one's ... I suppose, soul (I'll not define that more precisely). One could argue for a metaphor: the vehicle is the corporeal, the tenor the non-corporeal. But it is unusual to have fanciful or at least non-corporeal tenor and vehicle (what actually 'goes home'?) Sep 6, 2021 at 17:55
  • A metaphor doesn't have to compare things. It just uses one thing to figuratively represent another thing.
    – Barmar
    Sep 7, 2021 at 20:57

2 Answers 2


Possibly. What I understand this could mean is that his soul is crushed, his heart is his lover’s (apparently his ex-lover) and his corporeal body goes home.

Some people believe mankind to have three parts- body, heart and soul, so perhaps the author of those lines referred to that when he wrote these lines.

  • 1
    I didn't think of that, but yes, this is probably more accurate! Would this be some type of figure of speech or not?
    – emeliec
    Sep 7, 2021 at 21:48
  • Yes, I think it’s a metaphor. No one literally loses their heart to another or has their soul crushed, I hope.
    – m-Xylene
    Sep 8, 2021 at 0:20

No, it is not a metaphor - at its basic level it is a mathematical model. The subject has divided his character into three parts, two of which have become unavailable: he feels the less for it.

If it helps, "who I was" can be substituted with "me" or "my personality" or "my emotions".

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