Metaphors PDF Print E-mail

Our right hemisphere has the ability to make fresh connection, to speak metaphorically.  F. Scott Fitzgerald didn't write, "Daisy gives the impression of being very rich."  Instead, he wrote  "Her voice is full of money."  . . .that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals' song of it. . ." Language used literally rigidifies;  language used metaphorically,  becomes fluid.  It draws us not to what is there, but to what is not  actually there.  The elusive world of feelings becomes tangible through metaphoric leaps. (See Ch. 10 in Writing the Natural Way, 2nd ed.).  Below are two writing samples made resonant with metaphor:

Tightrope Walker  (Single spaced)

I am a tightrope walker in love with the tightrope,

but equally in love with the chasm below.                 --Marina Martin

 Body Wrap         (single space)                                                                 

My body, my gift wrap

uniquely human, common

enough to categorize,

but adaptable

like chameleon


    to protect my essence

        from unwelcome prying eyes

            of unwanted intruders

    to entice with flashy bows

        the touch of desired companions

            who by chance come near.


My wrappings renew and evolve

yet have become fragile with time.


One day they will fall away

    and the me within

        will float into spirit.

                -- S.Jazz Jaeschke


In one of the Narnian Chronicles by C. S. Lewis, a boy has a conversation about a star.  The boy says: “In our world, a star is a huge ball of flaming gas.”  He is answered: “Even in your world, my son, that is not what a star is, but only what it is made of." --C. S. Lewis

One winter evening, driving home from Stanford University, my 3 1/2 year-old having been in daycare, I asked her, pointing upward:   "What is that?"  She looked and looked, silently until I thought she had no reply.  Then, decisely she said:  Stars are flowers without  stems.”