Metaphor

“Metaphor: (Greek “carrying from one place to another”) A figure of speech in which one thing is described in terms of another. The basic figure in poetry. A comparison is usually implicit; whereas in simile (q.v.) it is explicit. There are several metaphors in these lines from the beginning of R.S. Thomas’s Song at the Year’s Turning:

‘Shelley dreamed it. Now the dream decays.

The props crumble. The familiar ways

Are stale with tears trodden underfoot.

The heart’s flower withers at the root.

Bury it, then, in history’s sterile dust.

The slow years shall tame your tawny lust.’

See ORGANIC METAPHOR; TELESCOPED METAPHOR; TENOR AND VEHICLE.”

Excerpted from: Cuddon, J.A. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. New York: Penguin, 1992.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.