MS (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

Seeking Metaphor

Metaphor’s the soul of poetry:
this incongruous instrument of speech
with which we say one thing,
when we mean quite another:

I wish that Shakespeare, its greatest English user,
had coined a truly English word for it –
or perhaps, those blunt and foursquare Anglo-Saxons
who came before; their words as hand-hewn as are spades –

the word comes from the Greek, and means a transference;
‘My lord, your transference is apt and shrewd…’
no, even that’s but transferred to a Latin stem,
‘carrying across’. Too late to seek some native word –
a ‘thoughtshift’ or a ‘mindmatch’ then?

We wear it down, and make it less
by thoughtless grabbing at the candy-jars
upon the shelves of sweetshops of our speech,
as if to mimic poetry that we haven't earned..

but at its height, a metaphor shines like new light;
bringing together, two images so disparate
and making of their neighbouring, a moment magical in memory
as if we’d never seen the world so brilliant
or so revealing; moments when the mind’s a god,
and life itself a metaphor; a glimpse
that somewhere, two things mentioned meet
under the astonished, single gaze of eternity itself..

Metaphor’s a holy sacrament: one should never dare
to use it without some faint echo, of a moment clear recalled
when that which one refers to, came dazzling bright into the mind
as life transfigured to another world,
time lifted to the timeless;
the radiance of the world’s first day,
Creation, in itself, one glorious godly metaphor..
and nothing ever less than one.

User Rating: 2,8 / 5 ( 14 votes ) 6

Comments (6)

What a gracefully flowing, packed piece M. I'm in love with the last stanza, in particular: I find it wonderfully inspiring and memorable. Thank you for this. It is a true piece of artistry. t x
Quite thoughtful. All this talk about metaphors leaves me craving more poetry, more metaphors.
Leave it to Danny to find the 'play on words' that he does so well...but as for myself, I love that one line...'time lifted to the timeless.' That, to me, contains the relevance of our writing..to take time and lift it into something for the ages... yes, a 'thoughtshift.' Perfect wording, IMHO. Scarlett
When I was in engineeringI was often asked 'What do you want that metalfor'? a.l
Metaphor is not comparison it is revealing the same oneness in all. A metaphor is a lifting of a veil that said there was ever any difference there at all!
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