Friday, April 29, 2005

Metaphor

I had a talk with my daughter about metaphor.

"We use metaphor in poetry," I explained, "to express our feelings. We are not speaking literally. I know a poet who wrote about her two little girls drowning, their heroin addicted father unable to rouse himself to their screams. They were out on the lake in a red boat. Or maybe they were wearing red coats. I don't think the poet really lost two little girls like that. At least, it's not in her bio."

"I have to write, and need metaphor to translate how I feel about all the things in my life. If I just wrote the experience out exactly, it wouldn't be poetry. It would be more like a journal. My poems are not my journal. There's a lot of adult stuff in my poems that might seem confusing to you. That's ok, you don't have to read those poems. There are also poems that are about you and some even written for you. Go ahead and read those."

So now, I'm going to go ahead and put some poems together for that book contest.

Wow, all this just to enter a damn contest! Haven't even paid for the printer toner yet!

2 Comments:

Blogger LKD said...

The first line of this blog entry, "I had a talk with my daughter about metaphor" would make a killer title or first line of a poem, Jude....

11:30 AM  
Blogger Jude Goodwin said...

ha Laurel - it's already taking form. But I don't think I would be able to read it to her for quite a few years.

There's a writer, Suzette Haden Elgin, who believes metaphor, specifically in daily language and communication, is an extremely powerful thing - I wanted to say 'tool' but tool as a metaphor here doesn't work for me, it being something one uses to manipulate. When the struggle is for true communication and understanding, what is the metaphor then? O, I'll just say, metaphor is extremely powerful. Elgin is a fascinating writer.

thanks for dropping in Laurel. People are missing you over on the Block

Jude

10:02 PM  

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