Friday, May 17, 2024

Finding Metaphors Along the Road

The Purple Lilac
Photo by Amy LV

Students - When I was younger, I liked flowers just fine. But now that I am older, I LOVE flowers. I have been planting hundreds and hundreds of bulbs and learning about different flowers, and with each new week of spring, I am thrilled with the new colorful friends who appear. This week is the week of lilac bushes. We have a whole line of them along the road in front of our house, and when people walk by, I offer them a bunch to take along the way.

Today's poem celebrates a bit of daily beauty. Writing poetry can help us notice things that we otherwise walk right by because the simple act of writing in a every day helps us to see more, notice more. I have been away from my own notebook due to the fact I have been helping someone who recently died. Now I am taking care of their house and belongings. Seeing this lilac and writing about it reminds me how much I have missed writing as I have been not-writing-busy over the past couple of weeks. Thank you, Lilac, for reminding me to return to daily noticings.

In this small poem of address (I write TO the lilac), I compare the branches of a lilac to human arms and its flowers to human hands. When we compare things to other things in poetry, we call this metaphor or simile, depending on whether we use the word "like" or "as." This poem uses metaphor, which is a bit stronger in a way. If I had said, "Your branches as long as arms" or "Your flowers wave like hands wave," I would still be comparing one thing to another, and those comparisons would be called similes. Since I do not use "like" or "as," this poem uses metaphor. You might want to try comparing something to something else in a poem or story you are writing. This is one way to give a reader a mind picture.

Linda is hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup over at A Word Edgewise with her generous clunker exchange. Each Friday, all are invited to share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship in this open and welcoming poetry community.

I encourage you to write in your own notebook for 5-10 minutes a day, perhaps at the same time every day. You do not need to know what you will write about before you begin. Simply begin, and as the days go by, you will find that you notice more and more in this inspiring world.

Next week I look forward to a week-long writing residency at Greenacres School in Scarsdale, NY. I have not been there since before COVID, and it will be wonderful to see everyone again!



Please share a comment below if you wish.
Know that your comment will only appear after I approve it.
If you are under 13 years old, please only comment 
with a parent or as part of a group with your teacher.

1 comment:

  1. I love "all of your arms" and "soft flower hands." We had lilacs in WA. I haven't noticed any here, but maybe I haven't been looking closely enough. Isn't it wonderful when nature can make us "feel a little purpler?"