SunWinks! June 29, 2014: Aboard the H.M.S. Metaphor
Where are all the haikais? I expected to be inundated with poo-kus. Well, there are no deadlines at SunWinks! Get them in when you can—it’s never too late.
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On to today’s topic: Metaphor. That stampeding of hooves you hear is the self-described “non-poets” running as fast as they can in the other direction. I get the same reaction every time I mention that word: “I just don’t understand poetry.”
The inescapable fact is that you pretty much cannot write a poem without using metaphor in some form or fashion. But here’s the thing: you also pretty much can’t talk without metaphor. Metaphor is one of the building blocks of language. Teachers and public speakers know the value of metaphor. Our speech is chock full of metaphor whether we’re aware of it or not. “Stampeding of hooves” above is a metaphor—so is “running as fast as they can etc.”. Metaphors are the stock in trade, the coin of currency (there are two more metaphors!), of any writer who strives to be more colorful than dishwater (that’s a simile).