& Examples Of Metaphor Poems
by Silvia Hartmann
Let's face it - there is no such thing as a poem that is NOT a metaphor. But people keep asking me about metaphor poems, what they are, and to give examples of metaphor poetry.
So for the beginners amongst us, let's start with the observation that some poems are one single metaphor all the way through, and others use a variety of different metaphors to describe one single thing.
Remember that all language, symbol and metaphor are seeking to describe a REALITY THAT EXISTS for real and outside any one single human being. If you try and reach through the words and the images the metaphor is calling up to the REALITY BEYOND those things, you can get the drift of the ESSENCE of what is being transmitted in a metaphor poem.
To start with, here is probably the most famous example of metaphor poetry in the English language, namely Sonnet 18 by "William Shakespeare" whoever that may have been:
Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
The cool thing is that old Will doesn't tell us who "thee" would be when they are at home, and leaves it up to the metaphor to explain it to us.
This poem is a riddle, and nicely done at that. But it is easy to solve if we just take the information as is:
What is the one thing about a person that is immortal and grows in eternal lines through time?
The question at the front of this poem is the "set up", the starting point into the metaphorical domain: "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"
If you want to have some fun, take that same topic and ask another question.
"Shall I compare thee to a golden horse? Thou art more lovely and more fleet of foot! Thou can't be caught, thou can't be caged, thou can't be ridden - free thou flyest over hill and vale ..."
The basic pattern of "Shall I compare thee ..." allows you to GENERATE metaphor poetry at will, so this teaching poem by Will is in a nutshell what metaphor poems are all about.
In the following examples from "For You, A Star", I have taken a word, usually a concept or nominalisation, and created a metaphor poem to not just describe the concept, but to EVOKE THE ESSENCE.
Now that is not a conscious thing, something you can figure out in your head with a measuring stick; it something that you FEEL instead, quite literally. The rule is as follows. If something has an energetic reality behind it, it will create an IMPACT on your energy body and you can actually FEEL that impact as an emotion or sensation - a sensation of heat in your stomach, pressure in your head, tingling in your fingertips.
So we are not talking about imaginary emotions but real feelings that a human has in direct response to some thing that is in essence invisible, but must be there, or else it would not create this sensation.
a gentle ocean
waves upon waves,
washing the shore,
loving the shore.
Can you see that ocean?
Can you feel the slow rhythm of the waves?
Do you understand the concept of tranquility better now?
Do you feel more tranquil in having touched this?
From there, you can then begin to try and describe such things FOR WHICH THERE ARE NO WORDS, because they are events across time and space in your own way, using your own metaphors.
Just when you thought
would be here forever,
that it could never end,
Amidst the frozen white,
a tiny tip of green,
first blade of grass,
the messenger of spring.
on the window pane.
Touch them with your finger tip -
but there's the barrier of glass.
You know that if you wanted
to become involved
you should be on
the other side.
Shyly, the child
raised the lid
of the battered box
a small feather,
a stone and a piece
of ruby glass.
On the wall,
there is a shadow
of a branch outside.
It moves and it is dancing.
It writes its story
and the ink
is living light.
The wind is now
a roaring, smashing
monster of destruction,
raking all man's work
from the valleys,
from the vales,
and sends them spinning,
broken flying -
but all of that is
not its core,
its center is in truth
bright blue skies
and all you hear
are gentle whispers
The longer a piece becomes, the more scope there is for doing things like looping metaphors, which means that instead of a 1,2,3 type linear progression of one metaphor to another we start with one metaphor and we may return to it repeatedly to give a structure to the event that is the completed story, or poem, or film script.In hypnosis, looped and embedded metaphors are used to deepen trance; an example of that application can be found here: Loops Within Loops.
In advanced hypnosis, story telling and energy hypnosis as well as in literature, metaphorical sequences of events are best thought of as the way the scenes pan and move in a movie; but no matter how extraordinary the imagery and concepts involved, or whether or not time is treated linearly or looped any which way, what you are always looking for is the central THEME or the point of the entire event overall, the "thee" from Shakespeare's Sonnet 18.What it is all about, WHY the piece was written, what the INFORMATION is that is contained within.
For an example of a highly complex, multi-level, multi-layered metaphor poem, see the energy hypnosis script "Our Dimensions" from the Freedom album.For examples of using metaphor in stories please see the original fairy tales section.
As a starting point to start "streaming" your own visions to be turned into language metaphors which can become song lyrics, stories, poems and film scripts, see The Beginner's Guide To Image Streaming.And if you really want to learn about the truly extraordinary dimensions of metaphor, the human mind, language and experience, I recommend "Project Sanctuary".
Metaphor Poem & Examples Of Metaphor Poetry
© Silvia Hartmann 2006. All Rights Reserved.