Week 2: Poems are relationships (October 8-October 14) [Oct. 8, 2011, 8:39 a.m.]
Metaphors are a basic unit or building block of poems, and simply put, metaphors are comparisons. The best ones draw relationships between unexpected elements--for instance, J. Allyn Rosser’s characterization of popcorn as “edible jazz.” Another aspect of successful metaphors is that they draw connection between the concrete (trains in the harbor, the sea)--and abstract (death, love, time).
It’s a delicate balance. Poems with too many abstract terms can feel vague. Part of a poet’s mastery is their ability to balance the abstract and the concrete--to make connections that feel accessible yet magical or strange.
Task 1: Metaphor making
Take any word and make a comparison. Reconstitute the word in a metaphorical way. Here’s an example.
“Calories (noun) - Tiny creatures that live in your closet and sew your clothes a little bit tighter every night.” --via Grouchy Rabbit: http://grouchyrabbit.com/permalink.php?viewid=25776
Task 2: Take a poem--either the same one from last week or a new one--and choose one word from the poem. Tease out a metaphor for that word in the same spirit of your poem. It can be as short as the calorie definition (above) or can be the whole poem. Tracy and I will provide examples in our posts.
Please try to post by Tuesday, October 11th.
Keep in mind the criteria that we've decided make a poem "work." This is a googledoc that we can all edit. Please do make any adjustments and refinements to it this week.
1.) Make a comparison
2.) Find a poem, locate a word in in and make a metaphor in the spirit of the poem. It can be as long as the original poem or short.
3.) Hack the rubric--it's in an open googledoc https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Zhded36cE-kVQN9wrOYqKMYGkaHRC9HTyH3qdyNXpJE/edit?hl=en_US
Take it further: some resources to look at for deeper questioning of the topic
- Poetry Critique of the relationship between Abstract and Concrete: http://elizabethrosepoetrycritique.blogspot.com/2008/02/magnitude-by-jacob-sam-la-rose-part-ii.html
- “In Praise of Abstraction: Moving Beyond Concrete Imagery”: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5897