Metaphor, similes, imagery…these are the blood and guts of poetry. When discussing metaphor for the first time in school (third grade?), the teacher’s example was, “The room was an oven.” I remember feeling something like, “Wow! A lot more interesting than saying, ‘The room was really hot.’” Even at that age, there was a little of the poet in me 😉.
The significance of metaphor has grown for me over the years. It’s more than descriptive or comparative language. Metaphor hints at an existential freedom from the concrete, the merely physical. What we are is not limited to sense experience. We are not subject to empiricism’s empire. Sense experience is a jumping off point; it suggests something beyond, something metaphysical or spiritual. If it didn’t, why would we be able to abstract or see supra-concrete relationships between things?
Earlier this summer, I tried to capture some of this in a poem. It is part musing about metaphor, part tribute: I borrow metaphors or imagery from some favorite poems as examples of how metaphor points to an identity outside the empirical.
As a challenge, I would love it if readers would comment and identify as many of the poems I borrow from as they can *without using a search engine*. The one who can name the most wins the prize of…feeling indomitably awesome 😆
Metaphor If a falling leaf is loneliness if leaning grasses are love if one short sleep past is death we might still be free: Free to take the road less traveled free to fork lightning with words free to be signs and symbols children of something more.