Metaphor Poems: 37 / 500

Seeking Metaphor

Rating: 2.8

Metaphor’s the soul of poetry:
this incongruous instrument of speech
with which we say one thing,
when we mean quite another:

I wish that Shakespeare, its greatest English user,
had coined a truly English word for it –
or perhaps, those blunt and foursquare Anglo-Saxons
who came before; their words as hand-hewn as are spades –

the word comes from the Greek, and means a transference;
‘My lord, your transference is apt and shrewd…’
no, even that’s but transferred to a Latin stem,
‘carrying across’. Too late to seek some native word –
a ‘thoughtshift’ or a ‘mindmatch’ then?

We wear it down, and make it less
by thoughtless grabbing at the candy-jars
upon the shelves of sweetshops of our speech,
as if to mimic poetry that we haven't earned..

but at its height, a metaphor shines like new light;
bringing together, two images so disparate
and making of their neighbouring, a moment magical in memory
as if we’d never seen the world so brilliant
or so revealing; moments when the mind’s a god,
and life itself a metaphor; a glimpse
that somewhere, two things mentioned meet
under the astonished, single gaze of eternity itself..

Metaphor’s a holy sacrament: one should never dare
to use it without some faint echo, of a moment clear recalled
when that which one refers to, came dazzling bright into the mind
as life transfigured to another world,
time lifted to the timeless;
the radiance of the world’s first day,
Creation, in itself, one glorious godly metaphor..
and nothing ever less than one.

Danny Reynolds 25 April 2007

In Glezga, its a stranger. Sumbiddy ye've never metaphor.

1 0 Reply

What a gracefully flowing, packed piece M. I'm in love with the last stanza, in particular: I find it wonderfully inspiring and memorable. Thank you for this. It is a true piece of artistry. t x

3 0 Reply
Amanda Lukas 25 April 2007

Quite thoughtful. All this talk about metaphors leaves me craving more poetry, more metaphors.

2 1 Reply
Scarlett Treat 25 April 2007

Leave it to Danny to find the 'play on words' that he does so well...but as for myself, I love that one line...'time lifted to the timeless.' That, to me, contains the relevance of our take time and lift it into something for the ages... yes, a 'thoughtshift.' Perfect wording, IMHO. Scarlett

3 0 Reply
Archie Langford 25 April 2007

When I was in engineeringI was often asked 'What do you want that metalfor'? a.l

1 0 Reply
David Taylor 25 April 2007

Metaphor is not comparison it is revealing the same oneness in all. A metaphor is a lifting of a veil that said there was ever any difference there at all!

1 0 Reply