Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Finding the Metaphor in Maples

Japanese Lady Leaves

Confidence, says Ted Kooser. That's what a metaphor communicates.

But it isn't easy to deal in metaphors. They can get silly rather quickly, when we push the relationship between one thing and another too far (Kooser cites a poem about the ocean, which successfully compares the ocean to cows. The poem works because it doesn't go too far, like trying to say that the waves "Moo.")

This week, over at TheHighCalling, we're trying to revive dead metaphors. I might still do that, but here's a live one I found outside my window one evening...

Little Japanese ladies
walk to the edge
of every path,
dip their lace-green parasols
into the golden waves.

I am not going to say that it was good to be confident about this particular metaphor. Someone else surely could have done it better. What I can say is that the little confidence I had with it came from a very sure impression that the maple flowers looked like little parasols all tipped upside down. And for some reason I felt compelled to tell you that in a poem.

Well, at least you can be thankful I didn't have the ladies sing and serve tea to the sky. :)


Got a metaphor poem to share? Join Random Acts of Poetry, to share your link and possibly be featured.

(Also sharing today with One Shot Wednesday.)

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Blogger Louise Gallagher said...

I like your metaphor -- I can 'see' it just as you describe!


8:15 AM  
Blogger Megan Willome said...

Ted Kooser is a master.

8:33 AM  
Blogger Karen Kyle Ericson said...

I like it! Very fun and creative. The language rhymes nicely and is very elegant like a Japanese lady.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Jeanne Damoff said...

That is a dear, enchanting little metaphor. And, honestly, I wouldn't have minded if your Japanese ladies sang and served tea to the sky. As long as the sky was thirsty.

11:51 AM  
OpenID repressedsoul said...

It is a gorgeous little metaphor!

5:21 PM  
Blogger Maureen said...

Your words create a vivid visual. I'm especially struck by "lace-green parasols" being dipped in water.

5:29 PM  
Blogger Beachanny said...

There is more metaphorical depth than the "parasols" here. The Japanese, the colors, the rhythm all turn the work from this to something larger. When done well Haiku does this and takes us on a metaphysical journey through nature in 17 syllables. This was well written. Thank you. Gay

5:48 PM  
Blogger lori said...

i think this is lovely, and the idea of reviving a dead metaphor is intriguing. i'll have to think about that for awhile. thanks for inspiration :)

5:51 PM  
Blogger Brian Miller said...

i think you did well capturing the image in your metaphor...

5:57 PM  
Anonymous Joe Hesch said...

Your vision is sharp and yet sharply slanted, bending light and sight into a whole other entity. It may be what I like best about poetry and you have sealed the deal with your mastery of image and language.

6:54 PM  
Blogger ayala said...

You captured it well!

9:03 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

This is beautiful L.L. I love the image of lace-green parasols. I picture a bunch of little Victorian ladies!

9:33 PM  
Blogger Kelly Sauer said...


You see what is there, and what is not there, and what is meant to be there.

I love your metaphors. I always see just a little more than I saw before. And this is ME talking. ;-)

11:04 PM  
Blogger Jerry said...

Thank you for your thoughts on metaphor and an example of a good one. I gotta check out this Kooser fella.

7:12 AM  
Blogger Leslie said...

well i am far from a metaphor expert, but i do know what i like. and i really like this...

9:40 AM  
Blogger Eric 'Bubba' Alder said...

It's not a bad metaphor at all. And a dandy One Shot as well.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I'm with Kelly--I love the way you see. When is tea served?

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anna said...

Did someone say tea party? :)
This is a delightful metaphor!

12:19 PM  
Blogger C Rose said...

This is metaphor...elegant and beautiful. ~ Rose

12:23 PM  

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