Poetry . Hide the Metaphor. Adapted from Metaphors and Similes You Can Eat by Orel Protopopescu Scholastic 2004.
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This poetry lesson is designed to expand a metaphor. It’s important to know that a metaphor is the soul of literature, both poetry and prose. To make this point, read Mark Twain’s description of Colonel Grangerford from Chapter 18 of Huckleberry Finn:
A metaphor is not a definition like “A tiger is a big cat,” nor a fact like “Snow is water in a different form.”Hide the metaphor
The night is a stream
With stripes across the sky.
When it thunders
The water is hitting the rocks.
As the comets go by
Is the stream flowing? How would you make the comparison clear without stating it explicitly? Describe night as if it were a stream.
The night flows,
Rushing over rocks and stars…
Let’s try a hidden metaphor to describe something as if it were something else. Example: Fog
The fog comes
On little cat feet
It sits looking
Over harbor and city
On silent haunches
And then moves on
Is fog described as if it were a cat in this poem, or is a cat described as if it were fog?
The poet was describing fog while thinking of a cat. Sandburg never names the cat, though gives a strong hint with “little cat feet.”
The nouns compared in a metaphor should be close enough that the comparison makes sense, but far enough apart that it’s interesting to bring them together. They are certainly far enough apart, but what are the similarities?
Inside a dry cleaning shop,
They met each other on the rack.
Him so manly and so neat,
From the top of his hat
To the cuffs of his slacks,
So dark and handsome,
Tall and sleek
Her so dainty and so pale,
With plump arms topped with lace,
A waist so tiny, tied so tight,
With a ribbon of the purest white
From which flowed a skirt,
So wide on every side,
His sleeves started to shake,
His heart flip-flopped, His jacket stretched,
And two buttons popped.
He tipped his hat and asked,
“Where did you come from?”
“From the Governor’s Ball,” she answered.
“A wedding,” he replied.
Inside a secondhand store,
They met each other on the shelf
Him-ragged and a little torn,
His hat all crumpled up,
Four buttons missing and a sleeve,
And his bow tie gone.
Her-without the lace and all the bows,
Her white ribbon, a dirty yellow,
Her arms just hanging like a sack,
Her worn skirt drooping at the back.
“We meet again,” he sadly said.
“Yes ,” she sobbed,
But more she couldn’t say,
For then the trash man came
And dragged her far away.
-Hagar Shirman (7th grade)Personification
It knows when to gorge itself
On the sweet, yellow light of day.
It know when to nibble
At the bottom of daylight’s skirt
Devour the rest.
Darkness then slowly
Slides over the land,
Its yellow stomach
Glowing brightly deep within.
When darkness reigns,
A million little crubms of silver
Light it missed
Dance and sparkle
To remind us that
-Megan Orosz (8th grade)
Sometimes it may be difficult to expand on a metaphor. Let’s see if we can do this as a group.
Love is…..Group Poem
I drop like the rain
And throw my legs
Like rain slipping
Off the roof.
I step after step
Like the drip drop of rain
I do a twist
Like rain in the wind
And end the dance
On my knee in a puddle.
They were put together the way a child puts on Velcro shoes.
They could be separated
As if a child ripped them off.
They kissed like Velcro strips touching,
But after a while, they got worn out.
The moon is like a peach
Swwet like the night sky,
Growing each day.Model poems
It is now your turn to come up with an extended metaphor. Start in your writer’s notebook. Once you feel as if you made the revisions, begin to type and hand it in. Be ready to share it with the class! Your job:
This lesson demands abstract thinking just like the last one did. You will pair two nouns or a noun and an adjective to create a kind of friction between the words.Poetry 2: Startling combinations
One day in the Thrift-Rite Supermart
MY jaw dropped with wonder.
For there, right next to frozen peas,
Sat frozen French-fried thunder,
Vanilla-flavored lightning bolts,
Fresh-frozen raindrop rattle-
So I bought the stuff and hauled it home
And grabbed my copper kettle.
I’d cook me a mess of homemade storm!
But when it started melting, The thunder shook my kitchen sink
The ice-cold rain kept pelting,
Eight lightning bolts bounced round the room
And snapped my pancake turners-
What a blooming shame!
Then a rainbow came
An spanned my two front burners.
-X.J. KennedyFrom To The Moon and Back A collection of Poems, compiled by Nancy Larrick.
If you are using the nound/adjective pair, be sure to choose words that create some friction between the adjective/noun, not habitual language; not instant potatoes but instant storm…not silent night but silent war…not young boy or young girl, but old boy or old girl….not broken heart, but broken dream…Using WORD PAIRS
The wind blew softly.
My dog didn’t bark
As she usually did
When it was dark.
The wind was blowing
Through my dog’s harid.
I got up in the morning
To see if she was there.
In the yard,
There wasn’t a sound,
Not even the dog
Now I know there was
A silent hurricane
In my heart
That night she diedSilent Hurricane
Around Saturn’s rings,
Poor helpless people
Getting no sleep.
Blue and white here no longer
For the sky is black.
City slickers wander,
Yelling with the streets
The planets are falling,
Making us weak,
In the black night’s bloom
As the wheel rolls on.Midnight’s Wheel
Now it is your turn to pare tow nouns or a noun and an adjective to create a kind of friction between the words.Your Job