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January 22, 2008

Metaphor as a technological device

Metaphor serves a very important purpose in the life of a poem. It is the quickest way to travel from point A to B. In fact, the transition is so fluid it almost goes unseen. We may be unaware of the transition, but once we reach point B we know that we have made some kind of journey.

Here are a few:

“Grey trees whose lungs had filled up with winter
suddenly exhaled a breath of leaves”- James McGonigal

Langston Hughes- Dreams
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

Stanley Kunitz- First Love

At his incipient sun
The ice of twenty winters broke,
Crackling, in her eyes.

Her mirroring, still mind,
That held the world (made double) calm,
Went fluid, and it ran.

There was a stir of music,
Mixed with flowers, in her blood;
A swift impulsive balm

From obscure roots;
Gold bees of clinging light
Swarmed in her brow.

Her throat is full of songs,
She hums, she is sensible of wings
Growing on her heart.

She is a tree in spring
Trembling with the hope of leaves,
Of which the leaves are tongues.

Metaphor can also be illustrated visually, as this painting shows:

Posted by pbali at January 22, 2008 04:55 PM


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