Monday, July 14, 2008

Words in Time

Metaphorically speaking…

Metaphors are wrapped into our writing like a blanket of snow covering the front lawn. Brightly lit, soft-spoken and subtle the metaphor is going to be the hidden aspect of a well-written piece of work.

Your lips are as sweet as a rose bud on a rainy day. Do we really know how a rosebud would taste on a rainy day?

Metaphors are used as symbolism throughout our works of art. An artist graphically paints an image in his mind, brushes it onto the canvas and you perceive something that has burst forth for you with entirely different meaning. The intention grabbed you, the thought provoked you and the image made you cognizant of something deeper.

Metaphors are the colors to our words. They leap off the page at the reader and the reader realizes that he’s read something enlightening. Writers use metaphor’s to paint images in the reader’s mind. The poem below has lots of metaphorical colors added to it. How many times have you seen a "dancing dandelion running in a field?" or "lilting lilies leap from the earth?"

This is metaphoric play from a poet’s mind. I’ve read some engrossing work with metaphors playing in the football field of the page, they are all over the place basking in all the right places. But I have also been a witness to the over abundance of metaphoric use ruin an otherwise perfect piece of writing. Keeping them in the context of the piece you are writing will also keep you safe from over-indulging.

As a writer I want to convey the image I have in my mind and the only way to make that crystal clear is by giving them something they can see with the eyes of their mind. They need to hold a picture of my words front and center. A metaphor can do that for me and for any writer.

To emphasize what you are feeling, a metaphor will come in handy as well as a Kleenex when you sneeze. An important note, while metaphors can sound like "clich├ęs" it is strongly advisable to be original and sparingly in their use.

Color your work with the spacious glow of metaphors as the light shines so bright that your work is illuminated in splendid originality. That is probably one of the hardest things to do as a writer is to come up with new and brilliant original metaphors that haven’t already been spun into the web of literature.

Give the reader clarity of images taken into his mind and he’ll reward you with continuing to the end of the story.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful piece of writing!

Full of color, emotion, inspiration, full of all what you know how to do well.

Didn't I tell you before about how you color the words? =D
I did! I did! lol

I love thinking of writers and poets as artists, painters.

Metaphors color words and you color the reader's world. =)


benning said...

Metaphors can be very useful, very descriptive, and can help the reader visualize something that may not be clear. I try to steer clear of them, myself. A metaphor can be utterly silly, pointless, and off-target if used poorly.

Nice post, Toots!

June said...

An excellent and lovely piece of writing about metaphor, Joni!

Metaphor add new dimensions of depth to our writing, but as you say, must be used properly.

Take care,