Saturday, August 12, 2006

Turn the metaphor

Angela Ball taught me good things about poetry. One thing she taught me was to "try the opposite." For example, in a poem, if I were to say: "you won't believe this," I could also try "believe this--"

There is power in Angela's concept in poetry and in the words we use to live the world. This evening my 3 year old was making a very unpleasant trail across the carpet, mostly thanks to my escorting him without thinking of the consequences (was I afraid he would run off?). While I was trying to remedy the situation, I thought of the house I will live in one day, and felt to take a firm stand on "NO CARPET." Enter the metaphor: YOU DON'T PUT CARPET IN A BARN. Oooh--I liked that. I was seduced by my own metaphor. I said it again in my mind. I felt very clever.

Then came--the opposite--"you don't act like an animal in a temple."

Still, the statement was hard, but not at all clever, and the vision was better: the idea that control and change are possible; the idea that my someday home could be a good place with people in it who tried to be good, too.

Orwell insisted on the connection between language and thought.

The Bible asserts the power of life and death are in the tongue (the verbal experience).

Angela Ball said try the opposite.

Turn the metaphor, turn the heart.


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