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Thread: Teach me Metaphore

  1. #1

    Cool Teach me Metaphore

    OK so I recently made a thread about poetry rules and what-nots and had a lot of great advice, so again I ask for your help - I know what metaphors are but suck at deciphering them and figuring out how to use them, and they seem to be key in a lot of great poems. So if not to much trouble, I would like some help if you please

  2. #2
    Ah, I love metaphors! You have to really think outside the box a lot of the time. The best idea of deciphering metaphors is to look for context clues within the poem and to try not to take anything too literally. But also keep in mind that not every poet is out there making metaphors, so don't overcomplicate things (I have a bad habit of doing this myself).

    To write them, there are a bunch of different things you can do. I can't really help you with thinking up ideas. I don't have a formula for it myself. My mind just sort of goes there. But once you come up with your metaphor, you want to make sure to include the context clues that you'd look for if you were a reader. I have a habit of being ambiguous, but I always include little clues to give readers some sort of insight. But that can be a turn off. I like people to dig, but not everyone likes to dig. So it's really up to you if you want to make your metaphor apparent or ambiguous. And I'm sure there's some kind of happy medium in between.

    The second thing you want to do is make sure you're consistent with your metaphor. If you're not, then you're just going to confuse readers even more. You don't want that.

    Now, I'm going to give you an example of what I mean by those context clues using one of my own poems. Not that I'm an expert, but I know my poetry well (obviously), so I can show you real specifics.

    This poem is a pretty recent one. It's a metaphor for creating poetry that's all the same underneath all the metaphors. So here we go!

    Red = Words indicating creation.

    Blue = Words indicating poetry/writing/metaphors

    Green = Words indicating everything being the same

    Breeding

    Hair-threads sketch triangles in my tub
    baby points with barbed ends.
    And they’ll get you every time.
    Stirring with a water blanket,
    make them concentric shapes.
    Perfect, layered mirrors.
    I’ll spoon out every sector
    to dip my fingers in.
    Molding. My babies.

    The skin, growing with a velvet gloss,
    weaving through the pelts, in muscular blueprints.
    Burned into place. No creases.
    Lay the children in vertical rows,
    Immaculate lines. Walk between the walls.
    All the faces to sift through.
    Don’t touch them. They’re just so brittle.

    Mix more expressions. Not so much ice.
    Bubbles breaking the blanket.
    These faces are perfect.
    Put them with the rest.

    Doll collection—pieces I can see.
    All my babies look the same. All my babies look like me.
    There’s magma in my veins, suckling through every part.
    Cavities all over my chest. Concentric.
    All the fluid to my tub. Another replica.
    The lines rotate and gather in a ring.
    Moving makes breaking.

    They’ll take you.
    Hair ropes, hair roads.
    Silk on your skin that’s frayed at the end.
    Tread the pieces, breathe metaphorical fog.
    Dissolving path—the same place.
    Always where it hurts.
    Idiopathic.

    And I’m still mixing in my tub,
    all these children that I love.

    And notice that the poetry part is very subtle. That's just my style. I really like writing thing that people have to dig for. My point is that you always have to give your readers some sort of "secret decoder ring" as my friend calls it. My secret decoder rings have a code of their own--haha--but you don't have to go that crazy.

    Hope that helped a little. I feel like I'm rambling and not making any sense!

  3. #3
    WF Veteran Squalid Glass's Avatar
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    Metaphor. (:

    A direct comparison between two unlike things.
    "Poets are always taking the weather so personally. They're always sticking their emotions in things that have no emotions." -Salinger

    " The good artist believes that nobody is good enough to give him advice. He has supreme vanity. No matter how much he admires the old writer, he wants to beat him." -Faulkner

  4. #4
    @angel101 thank you! that has helped me, I have a better understanding of how you create and decipher them

    @Squalid Glass lol I understand the meaning of metaphor, just not how to create one, or recognize them in other pieces - but after angel101's explanation I have a better understanding

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