Friday, July 24, 2015

September 5th Writing Group Theme: The Extended Metaphor as the Doorway to Finding a Unique Voice

A Few Resources for our September 5th Meeting in Guilford, VT:

What does Metaphor mean?
late 15c., from Middle French metaphore (Old French metafore, 13c.), and directly from Latin metaphora, from Greek metaphora "a transfer," especially of the sense of one word to a different word, literally "a carrying over," from metapherein "transfer, carry over; change, alter; to use a word in a strange sense," from meta- "over, across" (see meta-) + pherein "to carry, bear" (see infer).
The metaphor uses figurative language to carry forth an idea ......in the original greek sense...META (Across) FERO (carry)

Here is a wonderful TED definition by the Zen poet Jane Hirshfield




WIKIPEDIA definition of an EXTENDED METAPHOR with several examples from Shakespeare, Whitman, T.S. Eliot

Some of my favorite examples of EXTENDED METAPHORS but you can research your own too.

ANNE WALDMAN - Make-up On Empty Space
FRANK O’HARA- To the Harbormaster  my essay on the poem
ALLEN GINSBERG - The Green Automobile 
DYLAN THOMAS - Fern Hill
DIANE DiPRIMA - Loba (not online)
ADRIENNE RICH - Diving into the Wreck 
SYLVIA PLATH - Mirror
LI YOUNG LEE - Persimmons 
WALT WHITMAN- Song of Myself 
SHELLY:  Ode to the West Wind    
ELIZABETH BISHOP One Art

How can a poem with an extended metaphor become a gateway for finding your authentic voice?

The Green Automobile, according to Ginsberg was the precursor to Howl--The Green Automobile is a whimsical poem where he gave himself permission to free associate on his heart’s desire-- a road trip with Neil Cassidy. At the time he was writing short line lyrics. Sometimes it’s just useful to step out of one’s usual forms and expectations and let the content lead one to a fresh new perspective.


Some Writing Prompts: 

1) Select a metaphor or theme that deeply resonates and then begin to craft a poem by just compiling images and free associating relating to the central metaphor thereby extending it. Let the poem begin to write itself with these images

 2) Exercise: Select a topic of your "Heart's Desire" a secret fantasy  (the topic of the Green automobile). Instead of shame regarding your secret desire consider it a launch towards discovering your authentic voice. 

3) Choose a poem of your liking with an extended metaphor--such as Shelly’s  “Ode to the West Wind”  or Whitman’s "Song of Myself” and read it, belt it out loud,whisper it, read in a multiplicity of voices and oratory styles.  Savor the vowels, consonants, and the rythmic breath. Be shameless in your sense of proclamation because you know, that is what the "Ode to the West Wind" or "Song of Myself" are about. 

POETRYMIND Groups and workshops meet on the following schedule

Guilford ,VT First Saturday of the month 
Shelburne Falls, MA third Saturday of every month NEW beginning September 9th

To be continued.......

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