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Rated: E · Essay · How-To/Advice · #955754
A humorous essay on writing and metaphors.

A Taste for Metaphors
Shirley Moyer

Small words inspire me… a writing colleague recently used 'salt' describing my efforts. I began to see things while digesting his words. I’ve never had visions of dragons, winged lizards, or crystal alligators. But, I do see things, perhaps different than many.

Years of reading juice cultivated my addiction to metaphors… fine sips of Merlot followed by a scant spoon of reality. Words intrigue me. Squash intrigues me. Authors, spreading seeds in word gardens as if Word Gods were passing out blessings, intrigue me. Often I wasn’t sure of their meaning until I turned them inside out. Some, even now, escape interpretation.

Faulkner's rambling sentences portraying dense characters affecting a stream of consciousness without the use of commas invented an interesting short metaphor: Helling. In The "Sound and the Fury" he has a car helling toward him.

There are many schools of thought on the use of metaphors: One per paragraph, one per page, not many if any and don’t make them rhyme.

I’m convinced the only rule should be - allow them to salt your scene. Use every opportunity to showcase your unique ability. Doubtful writers can say anything which hasn’t been said before. Salt puts the 'bam' in writing.

Surely, Faulkner after reading Shakespeare uncovered "The Sound and the Fury" in old William’s garden. Give your readers a metaphor appetizer sprinkled with your wisdom and a dash of salt and a twist of pepper.

If I could say one book, one author, a passage stands out, pummeling metaphors into eternity, passages short, long, where legions pledge, yet legions succumb to the victory of the written word. WORD! Hail hail the written word. Fearless it doth come. (Forgive me. Too much Shakespeare, too much Faulkner.) Who then, is king of the metaphor? Who? Who asks a wee voice under the meek shroud of innocence? Who?

The utter nonsense of Tom Robbins and his genius in "Jitterbug Perfume." If you hunger for metaphors TR serves them faster than hound dogs chasing McGregor’s rabbit from the cabbage patch. And I challenge you to a duel in the garden of wordiness if you can prove there is any other.

You can shut up now Shirl.


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