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Darkkin
July 6th, 2018, 03:00 AM
Poetry is an impossibly incorporeal medium countless writers have tried to define. Just like with all types of writing, there is really no wrong or right way to write it or read it. Its species are legion from sonnets and villanelles to blank verse and prose poetry; it can take just about any form a writer can think of. However, among writers one of the most common and crucial elements that seems to be a requisite of any type of poem is metaphor. Given that all writing is entirely subjective to the understanding, context, and interpretation of the reader, is it possible for a piece of poetry to be entirely literal and still be considered a viable piece of poetry because it was not written with the purpose of metaphoric expression of an idea?

e.g.

A verse describing a sunset, a finite moment perserved by the author's imagination.


Just some thoughts...

- D.

bdcharles
July 6th, 2018, 08:19 AM
I would think so, though of course one may use metaphor here and there to help describe that sunset or whatever the subject is.

escorial
July 6th, 2018, 09:16 AM
Poetry is words about emotions experienced in every aspect of a life...for me it lacks the ability to communicate compared to all other art forms...it has it's place but for me it just doesn't have the wow factor...

Darren White
July 6th, 2018, 11:29 AM
Of course it is possible to write the poem with a literal intention in mind. The sunset example can be written by a poet who wishes to write about a sunset. The point however is, that as soon as it is published, readers can adhere very different meanings to a poem, and it can be read on several levels, regardless the intention of the poet at the time of writing. So, whether the poet likes it or not, a sunset can (not has to) be regarded as a metaphor for the autumn of life.

TL Murphy
July 8th, 2018, 04:38 AM
The question comes down to the meaning of meaning. All communication is symbolic. There is no such thing as direct communication. No one can read another's mind. Words represent concepts. Letters represent words. All communication requires interpretation by the receiver. The recipient can only make associations about what he/she receives and build meaning based on those associations.

If you believe, like I do, that the universe is fractal, that patterns repeat, and that everything is connected in some not-yet-understood way, then everything is representative of everything else. That is the basis of metaphor. You cannot say or write anything that does not represent more than what the initial intention is. There is really no such thing as literal communication. Good poetry not only acknowledges that, it takes advantage of it. Those who say their poetry is literal do not understand the deeper symbolic layers that they are, in fact, expressing.

Darkkin
July 8th, 2018, 06:37 AM
They don't understand what they are writing, yet still they have the ability to write that which they do not understand. It sounds a bit like shaman who speaks in tongues, perfect fluid language supported by context and logic, but when the trance is broken they have no idea of what they said, no memory of using tools they cannot wield with conscious intent.

Others 'normal' readers find manifold means in the words, words that in the eyes of the author are the embodiment of their definitions. Readers then tell the writer that Work X means, concepts A - Q. e.g. The curtains were blue is extrapolation of a character's depression. It is not a parallel allegory, the imagery and message equal to the impact of the inherent meaning. By extension, an element like kenning is a more effective tool for maintaining balance between an allegory and its idea.

e.g.

Literal, the Azure Pygmy Giraffe. The source of the Primary color blue. Hence his title as a Primary, a literal embodiment. When Literal goes missing, (taken by the Mundame), all blues are taken from the world. Greens and purples disappear...The entire colour spectrum is effected. A once vibrant world becomes mundane and all things fall out of balance. Pure nonsense, but the profound impact the removal of blue from the colour spectrum is a concept that is easily visible to the majority of people. Yet there are the people who are completely colour blind. The effects of the removal of a primary colour as a visual image would have little to no impact because colour is not a concept they know how to biologically reference because all they see it a thousand shades of grey between the black and white.

Metaphors are the thousand shades of grey most people can distinguish and understand, while the concept of colour is being explained by someone with tetrachromacy.

Another example that is way more linear, an exercise based on a fractal alliterative pattern:

Ratio


Ripples tuxedo sleek, something traces—
reflections, refractions—reality, rarity.
Clad in light’s abeyance, a life cleaves,
reality taken, sundered, something traces.

Rational rendered inert, impossibilites reign.
Among the improbable, isolated tides resides
a monarch, sole survivor, much sought—
His tracks slight, sleek tuxedoed traces.

Light’s absence his crown, courage hidden
beneath a breast, bumbling and homely,
a bird, flightlessly rotund. Restless, fretful,
he reads them, the ripples, rarity’s traces.

He, Ratio, Penguin Prince, reigns—
his realm, the ever-changing ripples,
the eternal tidal turned Stepping Stones.

Ratio, Lone Navigator of the Strangeways.

Parallel alliteration in simple black and white. Literal embodiment. What is the hidden meaning of a poem about a nonsensical penguin who knows where he is going?

Kevin
July 8th, 2018, 11:45 AM
Isn't haiku simply literal description, the words being so meager there is no metaphor, only that which is ascribed by the reader which is typically an image in nature?

midnightpoet
July 8th, 2018, 12:12 PM
"How are you?"

"I'm fine."

(Wonder what he meant by that?)

I suppose that's pretty literal, but of course he may not be fine, maybe he just doesn't want to talk about it. I suppose narrative poetry, telling a story, could be literal - but so often there's a Aesop to be learned (as in the Ancient Mariner). I've written several poems from simple observation of nature, but used imagery to describe it. What I saw (like a sunset) was literal, but still can be intercepted by the reader in various ways.

In any case, a poet can't force a reader to think like they do. It's an exercise in futility. Write your poem, quit worrying how the reader interprets it.

Darkkin
July 8th, 2018, 01:42 PM
People, by design, are unique, which makes one's perceptions entirely subjective. Readers are not meant to have a mind meld with the writer, as opinion is based on personal observation not fact. Basically no wrong or right way to go about a creative process e.g. reading or writing. What is fundamentally unsound is saying that a writer does not understand the multitude of layered symbolic meaning they (themselves) are expressing. The reader's interpretation being an esotaric extrapolation based on opinion, not linear reasoning. It is not wrong, but it also is not fact.

Express by its first definition, means directly, firmly, explicitly...The literal embodiment of literal. The word means what it means. Homer's wine-dark waters, waters the colour of wine because at the time they had no equivalent word for reddish-purple waters. Violets, which used to be called blue, because again, no word described the colour of the flower concisely. And something is not truly Tyrian Purple unless it is accompanied by its inherent sea borne stench. Exactingly specific examples, a clear expression on the shades of purple. As a writer, personally, I tend to use explicit examples, colours, textures, scents, tastes to illustrate a finite idea. The velveteen, light absorbing traits of Fennec the Pocket Fox's pelt, a literal embodiment of how light behaves when trapped in the gravitational pull of a black hole. The image chosen because it is concise, and firmly conveys the traits desired. With a linear approach to word selection, the writer expresses the exact image. What the reader takes away from it is wholly up to them, but to say the writer does not understand what they are expressng is disservice to the writer.

More on this later.

- D.

Phil Istine
July 8th, 2018, 03:22 PM
Isn't haiku simply literal description, the words being so meager there is no metaphor, only that which is ascribed by the reader which is typically an image in nature?

It depends. I once wrote one that on the surface was a fairly bland comment on nature, but if you read it as a senryu (human nature), it would have been rather racier. It can be quite an art squeezing something metaphorical into seventeen syllables (or less), but it can be done.

scarab
July 8th, 2018, 03:57 PM
Poetry is words about emotions experienced in every aspect of a life...for me it lacks the ability to communicate compared to all other art forms...it has it's place but for me it just doesn't have the wow factor...

Maybe you just haven’t met the right poem?

TL Murphy
July 8th, 2018, 09:34 PM
"They don't understand what they are writing, yet still they have the ability to write that which they do not understand"

Darkin, if you read my post again you will see that Is not what I said or even close. What I said was, those who say they are.writing literally do not undrrstand the deeper layers of what they are saying. In other words, they don't acknowledge the levels of symbolism inherent in their words. I can say '"It's a sunny day." And perhaps I intend that to mean there is blue sky above me. But I can't deny that the phrase can be interpreted on symbolic levels which may be revealed in a greater context. It could also mean "life is good" or "the future is bright" or " I've overcome depression" or any number of things.

Robbie
July 8th, 2018, 09:59 PM
The word/term ‘sunset’ is itself a metaphor.

Darkkin
July 8th, 2018, 11:33 PM
Deeper layers which are assigned by the reader, not the writer. The writer understands exactly what they are saying within the established parameters of their piece. The reader, just like the writer needs to acknowledge that the writer, as a reader, is just as entitled to their interpretation of a given work. The concise term was expressing, by its first definition: explicit, firmly, directly. By the use of the term expressing, it is an unconscious assignment of the reader's opinion to the writer, not an acknowledgement of the writer's own observations as valid insight.

Symbolism is entirely arbitary, one symbol can have upwards of a hundred different and often contradictory meanings. The reader has a right to their opinion, but without quantifiable, allegorical parallels, such as a direct fractal overlay, e.g. (the effects of removing the primary colour blue from the colour spectrum) there is little logic and no measurable uniformity in symbolism. It is an ineffective form of communication, lending itself to rampant confusion. Sunset is a metaphor for how many different things...People get so lost in the minutiae, that any word can arguably mean anything. Effective communication breaks down.

Take a look at the case of Leonard Dawe, who was investigated for treason by MI5 because words codified for the D-Day invasion plan turned up in his crossword puzzles. The word was merely the embodiment of its definition, a crossword puzzle clue, not a coded message.

If a reader finds deeper meaning, great, but without tangible parallels to established patterns opinion remains opinion. Is a writer, who does not actively seek to use a widely understood element like metaphor any less able to communicate effectively, than those who actively use the tool? Is their understanding found wanting, when compared to those who see profound metaphor in a word as mundane as sunset?

Borrowing a page from the Vulcans:

Lt. Saavik to Spock in The Wrath of Khan. 'Humour, it is a difficult concept.'

And in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home: When the computer asks Spock: 'How do you feel?' Spock replies, ' I do not understand the question.'

As someone with ASD, the concept of metaphor: Item X means ideas N, O, P, E is not a skill I possess. Item X is item X. The word encapsulated by its context and concise definition(s). It is the difference between cannot and will not.

Take a look at what literal is, as established by is recognised definitions. Try writing a poem that is completely literal. I am guessing the majority of people will not be able to do something that seems like a really simple premise. Normal brains do not have the same neural pathways as those on the spectrum do. Literal is an easy concept because it makes sense, it is linear, geometric, an embodiment of fractal extrapolation. Metaphors, A does not equal B, but implies concept I, but is not support by context, it is in implied symbolism as determined by the reader's perceptions, not quantifiable data. Yet it is a naturally occurring trait in majority of the population. The need to draw a parallel no matter how obscure to find a deeper meaning to give one's self a feeling of greater understanding. Hence the establishment of fields from everything from philosophy and to dream interpretation.

Robbie
July 8th, 2018, 11:52 PM
Tim I agree with you that there is no such thing as literal communication and most of what you say above...that everything is connected in some way. However, I need you to explain this sentence to me, because I do not fully understand it.

‘You cannot say or write anything that does not represent more than what the initial intention is.’

What if the initial intention changes while you are writing? Or even talking/thinking?

Underd0g
July 9th, 2018, 12:06 AM
An Objective Scene

As the earth was suspended in such a position

That the sun was half obscured by the horizon,

The light traveled toward me in a wave form,

My eye received the waves and translated them

Into electrical impulses and transmitted them to my brain

My mind interpreted it in the form of colors

That produced endorphins that had the effect of pleasure,

I know this because of past experiences

Darkkin
July 9th, 2018, 12:08 AM
So when a frustrated parent roars at their child, 'Go to bed!' What metaphors are contained within that statement? What deeper meaning is the parent, whose frustration with their child is clear, are contained within those three words. What else are they wanting their child to take away from the communication if it is not literal?

Or a more practical application: I work at a bookstore a customer asks, 'Where is The President is Missing?'

Where and what is the metaphor in that specific, real world example?

A more fundamental question might be, if literal as a construct does not exist within the parameters of human understanding, why does the word, the concept itself even exist if it is an impossibility with no proveable function, if everything is entirely metaphorical? What makes a literal translation as unattainable as prefection?

Darkkin
July 9th, 2018, 12:19 AM
An Objective Scene

As the earth was suspended in such a position

That the sun was half obscured by the horizon,

The light traveled toward me in a wave form,

My eye received the waves and translated them

Into electrical impulses and transmitted them to my brain

My mind interpreted it in the form of colors

That produced endorphins that had the effect of pleasure,

I know this because of past experiences



That is glaringly literal, comes up short on functional poetic elements, but definitely literal. Grounded in extrapolative logic. :topsy_turvy:

Underd0g
July 9th, 2018, 12:34 AM
So when a frustrated parent roars at their child, 'Go to bed!' What metaphors are contained within that statement? What deeper meaning is the parent, whose frustration with their child is clear, are contained within those three words. What else are they wanting their child to take away from the communication if it is not literal?

Or a more practical application: I work at a bookstore a customer asks, 'Where is The President is Missing?'

Where and what is the metaphor in that specific, real world example?

A more fundamental question might be, if literal as a construct does not exist within the parameters of human understanding, why does the word, the concept itself even exist if it is an impossibility with no proveable function, if everything is entirely metaphorical? What makes a literal translation as unattainable as prefection?

"Go to bed" as an exercise of reflection? To experience suffering? To sleep? You weren't clear. :profiler:O:):-p:glee:

Darkkin
July 9th, 2018, 12:55 AM
A comparision of two poems, both dealing with the woods. Look up George P. Morris's Woodman, Spare that Tree. An excellent example of a linear translation of a tree allegory. A direct connection of a tree and its history with the narrator's family. A literal embodiment of a family tree. And Robert Frost's Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening. A contemplative rubaiyat with no clear allegory or seemingly profound meaning, merely an enjoyable moment frozen in the verse of a winter evening.

Tennyson's Sweet and Low, to the reader, comes across very much as a lullaby and a prayer. And death as a journey in Crossing the Bar, the departure from the mortal plane clear in the context of the lines. Pretty straight forward when placed alongside William Blake's The Human Abstract. Literal embodiment of abstract concepts.

And poem that seems to embrace all things metaphor, because it makes no sense to me...Emily Dickinson's 'I dwell in Possibility'.

By contrast one could ask what is the metaphor concealed in Silverstein's This Hat, The Invitation, and Dumb. A visceral embodiment of this whole discussion. Sign in Silverstein's Every Thing on It

I'm sure more intuitive readers will find a wealth of greater meaning in these, but I found the dichotomy of the clever allegory and a moment of quiet contemplation interesting.

Kevin
July 9th, 2018, 02:13 AM
Metaphor requires context. Sunrise is a beginning. Sunset is the end. Time of day, seasons, without other context are literal. With support denote lifespan.
I would say there is data, but it has to be recognized as such. A chance has to be taken, a question asked: does this and this point toward a conclusion?
A tougher question is... what is my impression? Because not having esp, you could be completely off. Again, a chance has to be taken. The chance to be wrong.

clark
July 9th, 2018, 05:52 PM
It is possible to paint a can of soup so that it is a reproduction of a can of coup so exact that 95% of viewers would think it a photograph. It is possible to take a precise photograph of the outside path leading away from the front door, then paste it on the glass front door, and have people walk right into it, thinking it real. This kind of 'trickery' is possible only in VISUAL art. In Vonnegut's Breakfast of Championsthere's an amusing moment where one male character waves a Playboyfold-out of a naked woman at another guy, and says excitedly, "Wow man! look at that! Would I ever love to fuck that!" The other guy says "slow down buddy! Are you all right?" That. . .that's a piece of PAPER!" Interestingly, the coarse guy is 'correct'--the photo of the woman elicits a perception which he OWNS. That's what he sees. . .and he has the evidence to prove it. The philosophical guy is also correct. . .and he has the evidence to prove it. We can argue endlessly about which perception is more significant, but that ushers in value systems and cultural conditioning and all sorts of stuff extraneous to this thread.


Words and language are an entirely different world of communication and Art, and metaphor is a complex extension of language that can obfuscate The Real. . .or enhance it. A photo is a photo. It has no inherent symbolic meaning. We may assign or declare values to words, but they are not inherent. Every word, however, is some kind of symbol. Perhaps 'signal' or 'trigger' would be more accurate. The word 'cat' is NOT literally a furry, meowing, critter that purrs. The written word CAT is an assembly of one curved and five straight lines in a fixed pattern that our language pool agrees stands for that furry etc. Similarly, we have agreed that this word 'cat' will be SOUNDED in a particular way. And that sound is not literally that furry etc, either. It seems fair, then, to propose that , as soon as we utter them, words are already one remove from The Real. And though it would be glib to say that 'literal' and 'real' mean the same thing, they are very close in colloquial meaning. Merely writing or uttering a word, however, is meaning-less. Meaning is dictated by context. Wittgenstein said, provocatively, "Uttering a word is like striking a note on the keyboard of the imagination". In other words, the word itself is a PREPARATION for channelling towards meaning. The word, placed in context, provides 'meaning'. . . .but 'meaning' can only reside in a human mind, and all minds are different, so--even though we agree on what a specific word signals and we have the word channelled in a context, it must now go thru the idiosyncratic filter system of each perceiver. And regardless of the general agreement about a given word, there will be subtle further differences in the way individuals receive information.,,

I know what Darkkin means in her carefully phrased question:


is it possible for a piece of poetry to be entirely literal and still be considered a viable piece of poetry because it was not written with the purpose of metaphoric expression of an idea? e.g.A verse describing a sunset,




No, a poem cannot be "entirely" literal, because words and language are ALREADY metaphoric. The issue is one of degree: we have a general sense of what a sunset, usually, looks like. To the extent that a verbal description of a sunset conforms to that pre-conception--the more most of us will regard it as 'literal'. That POV seems almost simple-minded after all this hair-splitting discussion of the nature of words and language, but that is indeed what it comes down to. And even if a poet succeeds in purely describing a sunset with no metaphors, no symbolism, no figurative 'devices' there is no stopping readers from regarding the WHOLE metaphor-free poem as itself ​a metaphor for some larger condition.

TL Murphy
July 9th, 2018, 07:27 PM
The map is not the territoy.

bdcharles
July 10th, 2018, 12:37 PM
Deeper layers which are assigned by the reader, not the writer.



without quantifiable, allegorical parallels


Is their understanding found wanting


Literal is an easy concept because it makes sense, it is linear, geometric, an embodiment of fractal extrapolation.



If a reader finds deeper meaning, great, but without tangible parallels to established patterns opinion remains opinion. Is a writer, who does not actively seek to use a widely understood element like metaphor any less able to communicate effectively, than those who actively use the tool? Is their understanding found wanting, when compared to those who see profound metaphor in a word as mundane as sunset?

I wonder if metaphor and meaning is an unavoidable side effect of simply using a language, even if one doesn't intend it. It could be argued that they are so ingrained into our linguistic canon that we barely notice them. In the above, "deeper layers" is very metaphorical, to me. Text doesn't have literal layers (well, it has lines). Parallels is a geometric term yet here it is, describing literature and poems. Understanding can't "want" - people can "want" to aid their understanding, yet I get just what you mean. And so on. So I think it is just a natural byproduct of using a comon language and referring to shared experiences. But equally it can probably go too far. Writers take a punt (sporting metaphor, suggesting leaving things to chance somewhat) every time they use one, I would imagine. I've read metaphors that are so personalised as to hopelessly miss the mark. Equally, some people may think in metaphors more than others, and be able to deploy them to effect. And while some people may be inclined to write about a sunset if one is feeling the sorts of feelings associated with a sunset, thus potentially prompting the right sort of symbols to tumble out anyway, I would argue that everything is, or needs to be, a signifier. Sometimes, can't things just be?

Darkkin
July 10th, 2018, 08:10 PM
A writer writes, the word to mean the word. The reader reads the word that is the word, story for the sake of story. Literally written, literally read. Though rare, a few of these individuals exist. To the greatest majority of the population, there is deeper, symbolic meaning in everything, hence the inherent metaphoric translation matrices of the human brain. But as with all things there are extremes in every spectrum, literal communication does exist, just as deeper meanings do. It is the definition of definition and the established baseline for quantified, academically recognised word compendiums. Dictionaries. Just let the word or image be, and it is literal. People's thought, however, will always be their own as they should be.

As with all things if one believes in one extreme of the spectrum, one must also reconcile the existence of the other. Matter to antimatter.

clark
July 11th, 2018, 02:13 AM
bd-- a provocative post. We stand on similar foundations. Metaphor IS, as you put it, "ingrained' into the structure of words (signposts) and language (the complete highway). The image is especially apt because language enables the transfer of information and needs across distance from one person or group to another person or group, and within language, analogy (precursor to all metaphors, I would think) in a finely tuned enabler that crosses cognitive boundaries and OPENS understanding. Not necessarily "truth" but understanding of ranges of possibility offered by the person with whom one is communicating. Truth is not necessarily exactitude, as seems to be assumed by many. 2 + 2 = 4 is an exact piece of work with numbers, but in a chaotic or crazily distracting environment it could "equal" whatever a receiver decides it might mean. "What is Truth?" asked Pontius Pilate (John 18:38), and although he had Jesus in front of him, the question seems directed more to the air than to Jesus. Darkkin cites dictionaries as an example of literal meaning. The word is the word. Dr. Johnson would probably have agreed, though he expressed misgiving when he introduced our first Dictionary in 1755 that his book might "codify" the enormous complexity of language and result in false complacency. Agreement on spelling should not be mistaken for single-mindedness of thought.

Let me close my little contribution to this important discussion of metaphor by referring to a 2009 Review by Peter Turney. In the passage below he is quoting Steven Pinker's The Stuff of Thought. I've taken the liberty of highlighting in blue a section that seems most helpful to our concerns in this thread. That section does not 'resolve' the issue of 'literal' vs 'deeper' meaning, but it does indicate how intricately metaphor interweaves with language at its roots.

No one has a problem with the idea that the lens of an eye and the lens of a telescope are two instances of the general category “lens,” rather than the telescope being a “metaphor” for the eye. Nor is there anything metaphorical going on when we refer to “the genetic code”: a code by now is an information-theoretic term for a mapping scheme, and it subsumes cryptograms and DNA as special cases. But do cognitive psychologists use the computer as a “metaphor” for the mind, or (as I believe) can it be said that the mind literally engages in computation, and that the human mind and commercial digital computers are two exemplars of the category “computational system”?

So the ubiquity of metaphor in language does not mean that all thought is grounded in bodily experience, nor that all ideas are merely rival frames rather than verifiable propositions. Conceptual metaphors can be learned and used only if they are analyzed into more abstract elements like “cause,” “goal,”, and “change,” which make up the real currency of thought. The methodical use of metaphor in science shows that metaphor is a way of adapting language to reality, not the other way around, and that it can capture genuine laws in the world, not just project comfortable images onto it.
Though metaphors are omnipresent in language, many of them are effectively dead in the minds of today’s speakers, and the living ones could never be learned, understood, or used as a reasoning tool unless they were built out of more abstract concepts that capture the similarities and differences between the symbol and the symbolized. For this reason, conceptual metaphors do not render truth and objectivity obsolete, nor do they reduce philosophical, legal, and political discourse to a beauty contest between rival frames.

Still, I think that metaphor really is a key to explaining thought and language. The human mind comes equipped with an ability to penetrate the cladding of sensory appearance and discern the abstract construction underneath — not always on demand, and not infallibly, but often enough and insightfully enough to shape the human condition. Our powers of analogy allow us to apply ancient neural structures to newfound subject matter, to discover hidden laws and systems in nature, and not least, to amplify the expressive power of language itself. — Steven Pinker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Pinker), The Stuff of Thought (http://www.amazon.com/Stuff-Thought-Language-Window-Nature/dp/0143114247/) see: http://blog.apperceptual.com/criticisms-of-lakoff-s-theory-of-metaphor

TL Murphy
July 11th, 2018, 03:14 AM
At whatever age I was when I first questioned the reliability of language (I think it was about 7), I thought, how do I know that what I hear that person saying is what they think they are saying? Or how do I know that what I am saying is what they think they are hearing? How do I know that everyone agrees on what words mean? Or are we all living in information bubbles that somehow simulate agreement and common understanding. And that's why I became a poet.

Darkkin
July 11th, 2018, 03:51 AM
One aspect of literal translation, just like any other unbalanced system is the adaptive work around. When the word is the word, one becomes annoyingly specific with the choice, delineation, and context of one's words. A good, working vocabulary becomes an essential to communicate clearly. It is a work around that is highly effective, especially given the inherent, translative matrices of normal human brains. Most people do not know there is such a gulf in the perspective of the writer and the reader. Interpersonal communications (face to face), that is a whole different level and language, figuratively speaking, as upwards of 90% of communication is nonverbal, with visual cues adding the context.

Written is way more efficient because the writer is in charge of their context. The sum supporting the whole of its parts. With the majority of the population, the sum of the parts is greater than the whole, (the preception and understanding of metaphoric inferences inherent in the representation of symbolic translations). While a few, find merely the sum. The world sees 2 + 2 = 4, and then there is the guy who sees 2.25 + .75 + .25 + .75 + .5 + .5 = 4 or - 2 x -2 = 4. It is possible to get the gist of the idea across, but the process to 4 is not straight forward like it is for most people.

Then there is also the guy who will reduce 4 to its primes. 1, 2, 3...But 4 being neither a prime and even is not much fun, but add the next two primes of 2 and 3 together and you get 5. Triple primes, double odd. And left field thinking. This is the place where the Nonsense Daisies dwell, especially when it snows in May. :snowman:

Robbie
July 11th, 2018, 04:28 AM
That is beautiful to me. I thought I was weird because I questioned meaning of words and meaning period. Always words, because I heard them in different languages. But meaning in general after my grandmother died when I was five. I saw her and knew she was dead. I thought then and have wondered since, why are we as we are? One day living, next day dead. And how on earth is God going to make that dead person live again? I worried for about a year that my breathing was going to stop because someone told me or I overheard “she just stopped breathing.” I guess I am off topic but I could never believe in a literal hell or a literal god. Later I learned that god is within each individual, but not some higher power.

Darren White
July 11th, 2018, 06:51 AM
I write because the word 'snow' are four letters, but has a world of meaning, Snow is just a word invented to indicate things falling down. Blossom snows, snowflakes snow, my feelings snow, slowly fluttering to the ground in a heartbreaking manner. That's why I write, because these very few letters open up worlds and I already do that for as long as I can remember.

SilverMoon
August 26th, 2018, 10:48 PM
https://www.writingforums.com/images/misc/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by Darren I write because the word 'snow' are four letters, but has a world of meaning, Snow is just a word invented to indicate things falling down. Blossom snows, snowflakes snow, my feelings snow, slowly fluttering to the ground in a heartbreaking manner. That's why I write, because these very few letters open up worlds and I already do that for as long as I can remember.
Thank you, Darren. You've led me to a story I'd like to share.

I forget the name of the poem which was up for discussion but recall the teacher asking what "snow" meant in its context. I said that it represented "death" because it buries the ground. Finally, my ability to abstract was recognized, validated.

Like you, I had always been a metaphorical thinker but payed a price for it when in 3rd grade, attending parochial school. While the Sister was recounting the miracle at the wedding at Cana where Jesus turned water into wine, I raised my hand and proudly stated that I did not think it was a miracle. It was just that Jesus made people feel so good that the water tasted like wine. I was scolded and told to sit down.

Still, I could not help myself the next day when she got to the "Multiplying of Bread". It means "sharing", I said. Straight away, I was sent straight to the Mother Superior's Office for committing Blasphemy. She called for my parents to pick me up and I was grounded for a week. The only sin committed was attempting to stifle a child's mind. What a futility.

Snow, Wine, Bread - Yes, such simple words. Everyday tangibles turned into the intangible has and will always be my world to open up other ones.

jenthepen
August 27th, 2018, 09:03 PM
You have a beautiful way of thinking, SilverMoon and I'm so glad that your 'teachers' didn't stifle your creative take on the world. To have an empathy with the essence of all things is a great gift and should always be celebrated. It is that gift of original thought that makes us capable of invention and artistic creation.

clark
September 7th, 2018, 07:33 PM
Darren -- you picked an interesting word to illustrate your point! Embracing the "eskimo" language (Alaska) and the four Inuit languages (Canada and Greenland) one respected study out of Princeton U. indicates that because of the incredibly delicate inflectional nuances in these languages, differences in meaning and sound should be measured in lexemes, not necessarily words. Words are so precisely nuanced that they actually become metaphors, in a very real sense.

As a child Silvermoon did not understand that the EXPECTED "meaning" for particular words was the metaphor, so when she reversed it to the literal "meaning", ipso facto she was debunking the myth! Returning to 'snow': apparently, inflections of some words in Native languages are SO delicate--bordering on imperceptible to non-native speakers--that the inflections of Chinese dialects are ham-handed by comparison. The Navajo code-talkers of WW II succeeded, I think throughout the war, in completely baffling highly trained Japanese code-breakers, who never did figure out even the basics of Navajo pronunciation. I've spent time in the Canadian Arctic and I've heard Inuit talking among themselves: it sounds like someone clearing a particularly 'gobby' thick amount of phlegm from the throat and mouth. A quick example of how precise it can be: dogs and sleds are still used in some areas. Snow CONDITIONS are critical--if the snow is a particular way, the dogs must be fitted with booties, or visibility will make hunting impossible, or the snow cannot be cut into blocks for 'igloos', or water will form on the surface of the snow or.....or.....or...…? Precise inflections of a base word provide the info, info which at extreme winter temperatures can mean life or death.