September 28th, 2006

ozarque figure

Sf poetry being made; round five; part two...

Thank you for all your comments and criticisms; I'm grateful. Here's Draft Six -- still very, very rough and gritty. That's not acceptable; a poem about metaphor needs to be elegant. This poem is fighting me every step of the way.


[no title yet]

Why metaphors? What are they for?
Why not just look at the facts?

If flying a plane into a tower is a crime,
you need the power of law;
you need judgment.
If flying a plane into a tower is terrorism,
you need the power of war;
you need death.

If the television your host leaves turned on is entertainment,
your host is a boor.
If the television your host leaves turned on is a hearthfire,
your host is a friend.

If raping a woman is a sexual offense,
you need a prison.
If raping a woman is a crime of property,
you only need to make a deal.

If obesity is a disease, you get sympathy.
If obesity is self-indulgence, you get advice.
If obesity is a sin, you get sermons.

If life is a game,
you can always call Time Out,
and the rules can always be
revised.
If life is a lesson,
you don't get to skip
any of its parts.

If Earth is humanity's cradle,
never mind taking care of it --
we can always move on.
If Earth is humanity's home forever,
we'd better be better stewards.

If welfare is the practice of character-binding,
like the practice of foot-binding,
if it deforms the spirit,
it should be abhorred.
If welfare is the practice of giving a hand up,
when times are hard,
it should be admired.

Metaphors are the grammar of human life;
facts are the sentences generated
by that grammar.

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Draft three of this poem (the first one posted) is at http://ozarque.livejournal.com/314095.html .
ozarque figure

Recommended link; linguistics and metaphor....

"Christopher J. Hall has written a brief but remarkable new introduction to language and linguistics. The book's central theme is the 'Language Spell', a metaphor coined by Hall to describe the 'evolutionary magic' that prevents us from seeing how language really works even as we unconsciously take it for granted in our daily lives. The field of linguistics is presented as the scientific quest to break out of the spell and to glimpse the hidden structure underlying our language use."

That's John Fry, reviewing Hall's recent book introducing "language and linguistics." The review -- not very long, not technical -- is a tidy fit for our current discussion of metaphor; I recommend it. You'll find it at http://linguistlist.org/issues/17/17-2793.html .