A Metaphor for Writing

There have been plenty of metaphors in the history of the world for poetic speech. There are enough for Harold Bloom to write a book about ones in the Renaissance and Romanticism. It seems Shakespeare may have thought himself a mirror of humanity, Wordsworth a lamp to humanity.

I have come to a new metaphor in my thoughts. I don't know if it is truly new, its nature should tell you that. It probably owes plenty to the subtle, realist symbolic structure of A River Runs Through It.

I am not a lamp, I am not a mirror. I am a part of a river.
I am not a thing apart from my culture.
I am a collection, a few rocks, an eddy, a gurgle.
pieces of my culture are caught in the liquid tendrils of my thought,
and sometimes released to surprising effect.
Other movements of the stream and world around me push symbols and facts into me
They are often ejected with the same force, for good or ill.
I am a part of a greater stream, and I may have my peculiar eddy
my few fish, gathered cobbled bottom,
The words I express myself with may be unique
But I am only part of the river, and the river is the world.

I hate it when I finish something like this and begin to feel it's just over-poeticized, over-thought elephant pee metaphor.


dstromberg said...

Well, it would be better if you based your poetic metaphor around cheese...

Wallis said...

It always would. Unfortunately, writing about cheese is tough, as it is such a wonderful thing, it tends to eclipse anything I have to say. Perhaps the poets have been silent about it because no metaphors can be made with it, as such a metaphor would merely set people to thinking about cheese, rather than the relationship between cheese and something.

Cheese, therefore, is a wholely unplatonic solid :)