need a metaphor exercise

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need a metaphor exercise

Post by youthfulpoet » Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:52 pm

Hello All,

Im new here, i randomly came across this site for new poets. I have been trying to write for quite some time now, but i can never think of good quality metaphors to use. I can rarely think of any at all at times. I was wondering if any one knows of a good exercise i can do to help my brain come up with them in time?

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Re: need a metaphor exercise

Post by David » Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:09 pm

I don't, but I could suggest going through a few good modern poems - if you can get your hands on them - and noting what metaphors are used there. Do you like them? Why? Can you do something similar? Why not?

Give it a go.

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Re: need a metaphor exercise

Post by Lake » Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:23 pm

I'm not good at metaphor either. Perhaps that's one reason I don't write deep poems?
But do we have to always write good poems with metaphors?
Here's a little one from Kenneth Rexroth:

You ask me what I thought about
Before I met you.
The answer is easy.
Before I met you
I didn't have anything to think about.

Is there a metaphor, simile? I think it is lovely

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Re: need a metaphor exercise

Post by bodkin » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:55 pm

I'm not sure there is any particular metaphor in that.

It's more just an illustration of how the narrator's life was emptier before...

Metaphor has to illustrate something by saying it is what it is not:

"The sky was a vast upturned bowl."

Simile just directly says that something is like something else:

"Marathon runners like water flowing past."

Metonym is where you use one thing to represent something else, but you are not saying that the two things are alike:

"He turned from me and to the bottle" -- "the bottle" means "drink" but is not like drink in anyway...

As an exercise, just think about the "taboo" board game... You need to describe something without using any of the "obvious" words that go with it...

Do you want a list of things to try? I can just write a few down if you like:

a lighthouse
wasted time
the feeling of overeating
an eggshell
fluorescent lighting
late night tiredness
something bouncing
a leafless tree
sponge cake
the sun

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Re: need a metaphor exercise

Post by Arian » Mon Nov 09, 2009 6:19 pm

I'm afraid I can't think of any specific exercises, either. I'd echo David's advice - in fact, I'd go further. Read as much poetry as you can, modern or otherwise.
All the best

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Re: need a metaphor exercise

Post by nar » Thu Nov 26, 2009 9:26 pm

Yep, metaphor is hard.

When I try to think about such things, I tend to think of them in a little hierarchy of difficulty:

analogy, similie, metaphor, conceit

Perhaps that's just the way my head works.

I find analogy and similie the easiest.

For me, the best way to create those is to become the second person and write from that POV. Finding a common frame-of-reference that links the narrator to the audience is the trick.

Personally, I can do this more easily with technical/physical subjects than artistic/imaginative ones. eg: I can more easily describe something like a computer-system using analogy than I can a sunset or a relationship.

I can't think of a specific exercise either, but my gut feeling is to try to reverse-engineer it. Start with something that everyone can relate to and then create a subject that you're going to describe, and try to write that subject using the commonly-understood metaphor. ie: don't try to find a metaphor for a difficult subject, but try to find a subject for an easy metaphor.

Just my $0.05

- Neil
War does not determine who is right - only who is left. (Bertrand Russell)

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