Metaphor is the soul of poetry.

Poetry need not have form. But without metaphor, poetry is incoherent babble.

Poetry need not have rhyme. But without metaphor, poetry is dead on its feet.

The great Hebrew leader David spoke of his Lord in metaphor as shepherd and fortress, obviously never having his grip on reality questioned for recognizing forces that were true to life.

One of the greatest civilizations the world has known was built by the Greeks on metaphors of the gods that revealed the basic elements of reality, obviously never actually having held the Golden Fleece itself.

From the earliest eisteddfod, bardoi sang to the moon in metaphor, obviously never envisioning collision with the earth in recognizing the connections that served their harvests.

Just as mathematics is the language of all of science, so is metaphor the language of all art.

The singer who sings without metaphor becomes as a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.

The dancer who dances without metaphor is nothing.

The painter who paints without metaphor gains nothing, blesses no one.

Metaphor is love. And love is metaphor.

Metaphor reveals truth.

The face without metaphor hides its own lie.

Any who is ignorant of metaphor is less relevant than a rock, which with the wind and the sun and all of life constantly exchanges the metaphors that give meaning and place to things.

Any who is arrogant of an ignorance of metaphor is emptier than the void of space, which in the light that connects the stars and the gravity that decides the fates of worlds is spun on metaphors that both decide and violate the laws of nature.

And what fool would be proud of living in denial of metaphor?

For good cause were David, the Greeks, the bardoi and so many others so crucial to humanity so deeply immersed in poetic metaphor.

Without metaphor, there is no fire. No wind. No water nor earth.

Without metaphor, there is no meaning.


[margin notes]

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2 Responses to Metaphor

    • Metaphorically so, I hope. 😊

      This was inspired by some of Sara’s notes. One of the unfinished essays she left involved an extensive review of metaphor throughout all of poetry, even the most objective schools. Her notes wanted to reach beyond poetry that had been published or shared, to the poetry in other communications and to the poetry in nature itself. She saw metaphor as being the one unifying force through all of that. Here, I’m only reflecting her own visions of it. As any good metaphor would want to do.

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