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Does this allegory sound nice? (1 Viewer)

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Puellamagi

Senior Member
I have found an interesting word expression about sadness, and it is interesting if it works:

"The loss was a hummer, and her heart was the anvil, on which the grief was forged"

From your point if view is this a good metaphor?
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
I have found an interesting word expression about sadness, and it is interesting if it works:

"The loss was a hummer, and her heart was the anvil, on which the grief was forged"

From your point if view is this a good metaphor?

Loss is a hammer, and heart is the anvil, on which grief is forged.

That's tighter but I'm not sure about the metaphor to be honest.
 

Private Universe

Senior Member
I think this is a brillant metaphor (I assume hummer was a typo) - clear and accurate, and I think the rhythm of the sentence works well.

Very creative - I'd be proud if I came up with imagery like that!
 

luckyscars

WF Veterans
It sounds like it's been done. Whether or not it has, I don't know, I couldn't immediately find anything in particular when I typed 'heart is an anvil' on Google, but the fact it sounds like it's been done is kind of enough, you know? Put it another way: It didn't fizz with originality.

I think you have to be really careful with metaphors, especially ones that revolve around big things 'love' and 'grief'. These are really complex things and reducing them to 'like a...' is a big gamble. If it works, great. But what if it doesn't? If it doesn't work it has the effect of being trite at best, tone-deaf at worst.

In this case, you're kind avoiding a huge issue by having it all revolve around abstract nouns:

"The loss was a hammer, and her heart was the anvil, on which the grief was forged"

Those bolded words are 'abstract nouns' (technically 'heart' isn't, but in this case it is because we mean the metaphorical heart -- not the heart that literally beats). They are abstract because they don't exist in any fixed sense. 'Loss' doesn't mean a fixed thing, neither does grief, neither does heart. We know this because I can say "I lost her' and you don't know if she is dead or wandered off in the amusement park.

So, in this metaphor you are saying THING THAT ONLY CONCEPTUALLY EXISTS + THING THAT ONLY CONCEPTUALLY EXISTS = THING THAT ONLY CONCEPTUALLY EXISTS. This isn't a formula that can really be argued against, only disbelieved. There's nothing that can be said to be wrong about it, the only question is whether we -- the reader -- happen to find the analogy meaningful.

Is it meaningful? I don't know. Let's say, I don't think it's saying anything new. Translated into common English, you are really only saying 'she was heartbroken' and I don't know if dressing it in a blacksmith metaphor really adds much?

But if you want a simple, encouraging answer...sure, it's okay. I'm sure there are books out there where this sort of writing appears all the time.
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
It sounds like it's been done. Whether or not it has, I don't know, I couldn't immediately find anything in particular when I typed 'heart is an anvil' on Google, but the fact it sounds like it's been done is kind of enough, you know? Put it another way: It didn't fizz with originality.

I think you have to be really careful with metaphors, especially ones that revolve around big things 'love' and 'grief'. These are really complex things and reducing them to 'like a...' is a big gamble. If it works, great. But what if it doesn't? If it doesn't work it has the effect of being trite at best, tone-deaf at worst.

In this case, you're kind avoiding a huge issue by having it all revolve around abstract nouns:

"The loss was a hammer, and her heart was the anvil, on which the grief was forged"

Those bolded words are 'abstract nouns' (technically 'heart' isn't, but in this case it is because we mean the metaphorical heart -- not the heart that literally beats). They are abstract because they don't exist in any fixed sense. 'Loss' doesn't mean a fixed thing, neither does grief, neither does heart. We know this because I can say "I lost her' and you don't know if she is dead or wandered off in the amusement park.

So, in this metaphor you are saying THING THAT ONLY CONCEPTUALLY EXISTS + THING THAT ONLY CONCEPTUALLY EXISTS = THING THAT ONLY CONCEPTUALLY EXISTS. This isn't a formula that can really be argued against, only disbelieved. There's nothing that can be said to be wrong about it, the only question is whether we -- the reader -- happen to find the analogy meaningful.

Is it meaningful? I don't know. Let's say, I don't think it's saying anything new. Translated into common English, you are really only saying 'she was heartbroken' and I don't know if dressing it in a blacksmith metaphor really adds much?

But if you want a simple, encouraging answer...sure, it's okay. I'm sure there are books out there where this sort of writing appears all the time.

This is a valuable analysis for any writer. Noted.
 
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