Thursday, April 25, 2019

Post-From-the-Past, April Archives

April 2019
"The power of metaphor comes from the distance bridged and the pleasurable shock we get from that electrical connection between two seemingly different entities." --John Drury, Creating Poetry

My selection for April's post-from-the-past, dipping back into blogging archives of now over nine years, is this one: Book Metaphors: Six Ideas and Counting. Who would have thought this post would be the one with the overall highest viewings of all those published here at Words and Such? But it is, and I'm amazed that it still gets a dozen or so new views each week. There's something real, tangible, and fulfilling about books, and we're still discovering ways to describe the experience. In addition, the subject of 'metaphor' itself is a fun one. Making those connections between two seemingly different entities, as John Drury says in his book Creating Poetry, can be a writing adventure.

So without further ado here's this month's post-from-the past, out of April's archives:

Friday, April 6, 2012

What is a book to you, metaphorically speaking?

Others have weighed in on the subject, as evidenced by the following six quotes:

1. "Books are the compasses and telescopes and sextants and charts which other men have prepared to help us navigate the dangerous seas of human life." --Jesse Lee Bennett 

2. "Books are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time." --E.P. Whipple

3. "A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counselor, a multitude of  counselors." --Henry Ward Beecher

4. "Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind."--James Russell Lowell

5. "Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers." --Charles W. Eliot

6. "Books are a uniquely portable magic." --Stephen King

Six quotes turn into fifteen metaphors: compass, telescope, sextant, chart, lighthouse, garden, orchard, storehouse, party, company, counselor, bee, friend, teacher, magic
But we don't have to stop there. We're writers--how about making up a few of our own?

Photos courtesy of
My contribution: "a book is a ticket." A ticket to worlds and stories, places and things, ideas, insights, and imagination. A ticket to colors and wonder, images and emotions, mystery, heart tugs and promise. A ticket to the tapestries and threads of history and humanity--and to hope.

Would love to hear your ideas. How would you describe a book, metaphorically speaking?


Breaking back into the present, we add to our list with contributions from blogging friends who shared their ideas of book metaphors in the original post's comments:

"A book is a hideaway, a place where we can get away from everything for a while." --Peggy Harkins 

"A book is a portal to another world, traveling through time or space or both." --Elizabeth Varadan 

"A book is transportation to a world filled with secrets that are not being let out at once but piece by piece." --Kamila Glomova 

"A book is a hide-and-seek, a game played by writer and reader." --PS 

More suggestions? From Meghan Cox Gurdon, author of The Enchanted Hour, the Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction: "Books are portals into wonders."

And this one, posted by  Caroline Starr Rose, author of May B and Blue Birds, both novels-in-verse, on her blog earlier this year (here): "If education is the road out of poverty, books are the wheels for the journey." --Richard Crabbe, African Publishers Network

And so to our original list, we add hideaway, portal (to another world/into wonders), transportation to a world of secrets, game of hide-and-seek, and wheels (on the road of life's journeys). May books continue to be all these things and more to the next generations coming up. Wishing all a spring full of book adventures.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Celebrating National Poetry Month, 30 Quotes and Counting

a bit of poetry outside the window March 2019
April arrives bringing with it once more a month of celebrating poetry (National Poetry Month origin, here). My share in the celebration, along with a goal of reading more poetry this month as well as challenging myself to write 30-haiku-in-30 days again (last year's challenge, here)--is the following compilation of 30 of my favorite quotes on poetry. Each brings its own inspiration, one each day of the month to stir up the imagination toward poetry. Let the celebration begin...

  1. "Poetry is the languages of surprises." --Stephen Taylor Goldsberry
  2. "The poet doesn't invent. He listens." --Jean Cocteau
  3. "Poetry is a packsack of invisible keepsakes." --Carl Sandburg
  4. "Prose is a photography, poetry is a painting in oil colors." --Austin O'Malley
  5. "It is the job of poetry to clean up our word-clogged reality by creating silences around things." --Steven Mallarme
  6. "The poet lights the light and fades away, But the light goes on and on." --Emily Dickinson
  7. "I would define, in brief, the poetry of words is the rhythmical creation of Beauty."-Edgar Allen Poe 
  8. "Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance." --Carl Sandburg
  9. "Poetry is a language in which man explores his own amazement." --Christopher Fry
10. "I have never started a poem whose end I knew, writing the poem is discovering."--Robert Frost
11. "Poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land wanting to fly in the air." --Carl Sandburg
12. "If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry."--Emily Dickinson
13. "Poetry is everywhere; it just needs editing." --James Tate
14. "A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language." --W.H. Auden
15. "The true poem rests between the words." --Vanna Bonta
16. "Poetry is life distilled." --Gwendalyn Brooks
17. "Writing a poem is making music with words and space." --Arnold Adoff
18. "Prose is words in their best order; poetry is the best words in their best order."--Samuel Coleridge
19. "A poem is a spider web, Spun with words of wonder; Woven lace held in place, by whispers made of thunder" --Charles Ghigna
20. "Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words."-Robert Frost
21. "Poetry is a section of river fog and morning boat-lights delivered between bridges and whistles, so one says, 'Oh!' and another, 'How?'" --Carl Sandburg
22. "Some of the greatest poetry is revealing to the reader the beauty in something that was so simple you had taken it for granted." --Neil de Grasse Tyso, astrophysicist
23. "Poetry is the impish attempt to paint the color of the wind." --Maxwell Bodenheim
24. "Poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry." --Mary Oliver
25. "How do poems grow? They grow out of your life." --Robert Penn Warren
26. "Poetry makes life what lights and music do to the stage." --Charles Dickens
27. "Poets don't draw. They unravel their handwriting and then tie it up again, but differently." --Jean Cocteau
28. "Poetry might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings." --W.H. Auden
29. "Poetry has the power to turn words into darts that shoot under your skin."--Penny Ashton
30. "A poet can survive everything but a misprint." --Oscar Wilde

Happy Poetry Month 2019. How does poetry stir your world?