Wallace Stevens | |
A sunny day's complete Poussiniana
Divide it from itself.
It is this or that
And it is not.
By metaphor you paint
Thus, the pineapple was a leather fruit,
A fruit for pewter, thorned and palmed and blue,
To be served by men of ice.
The senses paint
The juice was fragranter
Than wettest cinnamon.
It was cribled pears
Dripping a morning sap.
The truth must be
That you do not see, you experience, you feel,
That the buxom eye brings merely its element
To the total thing, a shapeless giant forced
Green were the curls upon that head.
Jorge Luis Borges | |
We are the time.
We are the famous
metaphor from Heraclitus the Obscure.
We are the water, not the hard diamond,
the one that is lost, not the one that stands still.
We are the river and we are that greek
that looks himself into the river.
changes into the waters of the changing mirror,
into the crystal that changes like the fire.
We are the vain predetermined river,
in his travel to his sea.
The shadows have surrounded him.
Everything said goodbye to us, everything goes away.
Memory does not stamp his own coin.
However, there is something that stays
however, there is something that bemoans.
Omer Tarin | |
Once before I've heard this
A long-drawn note of many-lettered woe,
The great open beak straining
against the roar of raging surf;
Head, thrown back, taut
against the distant sails
Anger flickering in eyes flecked with amber,
rolling in lonely knowledge,
this bond servant of the sea,
tied by its giant wingspan
to the torturous flight of sainthood
in its terrible existence
by the yellow fog of banality
to the squalor of urban beachfronts ,
snuffed out in the face of its own metaphor
screaming curses unto heaven,
proud to the very last;
''Once before'', I said,
''I've heard this cry''.
(from ''Burnt Offerings'', 1996)
William Carlos (WCW) Williams | |
Let the snake wait under
and the writing
be of words, slow and quick, sharp
to strike, quiet to wait,
—through metaphor to reconcile
the people and the stones.
but in things) Invent!
Saxifrage is my flower that splits
Elizabeth Jennings | |
When the gardener has gone this garden
Looks wistful and seems waiting an event.
It is so spruce, a metaphor of Eden
And even more so since the gardener went,
Quietly godlike, but of course, he had
Not made me promise anything and I
Had no one tempting me to make the bad
Yet I still felt lost and wonder why.
Even the beech tree from next door which shares
Its shadow with me, seemed a kind of threat.
Everything was too neat, and someone cares
In the wrong way.
I need not have stood long
Mocked by the smell of a mown lawn, and yet
Sickness for Eden was so strong.
David Lehman | |
Remember when Khrushchev said
"We will bury you!"
on the cover
I thought he was
employing a metaphor
as in "Braves Scalp Giants!"
on the back page
of the Daily News
I pictured the Russians
burying us under a mound
of all the rubble
that rubles could buy
when what he meant was
he had come not to praise Caesar
but to bury him
Adrienne Rich | |
My swirling wants.
Your frozen lips.
The grammar turned and attacked me.
Themes, written under duress.
Emptiness of the notations.
They gave me a drug that slowed the healing of wounds.
I want you to see this before I leave:
the experience of repetition as death
the failure of criticism to locate the pain
the poster in the bus that said:
my bleeding is under control
A red plant in a cemetary of plastic wreaths.
A last attempt: the language is a dialect called metaphor.
These images go unglossed: hair, glacier, flashlight.
When I think of a landscape I am thinking of a time.
When I talk of taking a trip I mean forever.
I could say: those mountains have a meaning
but further than that I could not say.
To do something very common, in my own way.
Edgar Lee Masters | |
Oh many times did Ernest Hyde and I
Argue about the freedom of the will.
My favorite metaphor was Prickett's cow
Roped out to grass, and free you know as far
As the length of the rope.
One day while arguing so, watching the cow
Pull at the rope to get beyond the circle
Which she had eaten bare,
Out came the stake, and tossing up her head,
She ran for us.
"What's that, free-will or what?" said Ernest, running.
I fell just as she gored me to my death.
Vernon Scannell | |
That one small boy with a face like pallid cheese
And burnt-out little eyes could make a blaze
As brazen, fierce and huge, as red and gold
And zany yellow as the one that spoiled
Three thousand guineas' worth of property
And crops at Godwin's Farm on Saturday
Is frightening---as fact and metaphor:
An ordinary match intended for
The lighting of a pipe or kitchen fire
Misused may set a whole menagerie
Of flame-fanged tigers roaring hungrily.
And frightening, too, that one small boy should set
The sky on fire and choke the stars to heat
Such skinny limbs and such a little heart
Which would have been content with one warm kiss
Had there been anyone to offer this.
William Butler Yeats | |
The heron-billed pale cattle-birds
That feed on some foul parasite
Of the Moroccan flocks and herds
Cross the narrow Straits to light
In the rich midnight of the garden trees
Till the dawn break upon those mingled seas.
Often at evening when a boy
Would I carry to a friend -
Hoping more substantial joy
Did an older mind commend -
Not such as are in Newton's metaphor,
But actual shells of Rosses' level shore.
Greater glory in the Sun,
An evening chill upon the air,
Bid imagination run
Much on the Great Questioner;
What He can question, what if questioned I
Can with a fitting confidence reply.
William Butler Yeats | |
Processions that lack high stilts have nothing that
catches the eye.
What if my great-granddad had a pair that were
twenty foot high,
And mine were but fifteen foot, no modern Stalks
Some rogue of the world stole them to patch up a fence
or a fire.
Because piebald ponies, led bears, caged lions, ake
but poor shows,
Because children demand Daddy-long-legs upon This
Because women in the upper storeys demand a face at
That patching old heels they may shriek, I take to
chisel and plane.
Malachi Stilt-Jack am I, whatever I learned has run wild,
From collar to collar, from stilt to stilt, from father to child.
All metaphor, Malachi, stilts and all.
A barnacle goose
Far up in the stretches of night; night splits and the
dawn breaks loose;
I, through the terrible novelty of light, stalk on, stalk on;
Those great sea-horses bare their teeth and laugh at the dawn.
Thomas Blackburn | |
By your unnumbered charities
A miracle disclose,
Lord of the Images, whose love
The eyelids and the rose
Takes for a language, and today
Tell to me what is said
By these men in a turnip field
And their unleavened bread.
For all things seem to figure out
The stirrings of your heart,
And two men pick the turnips up
And two men pull the cart;
And yet between the four of them
No word is ever said
Because the yeast was not put in
Which makes the human bread.
But three men stare on vacancy
And one man strokes his knees;
What is the meaning to be found
In such dark vowels as these?
Lord of the Images, whose love
The eyelid and the rose
Takes for a metaphor, today,
Beneath the warder's blows,
The unleavened man did not cry out
Or turn his face away;
Through such men in a turnip field
What is it that you say?