Addendum to Clouds from Both Sides Now

January 15, 2016

Happy New Year! When I returned to the office after the holidays, I found a note from David Haskins waiting in my inbox. I had written to tell him that his post on clouds and metaphor went up December 29, and in thanking me, he shared some further thoughts I felt would make a nice addendum, if not conclusion, to the piece.

After I wrote this I saw the film A Poet in New York, about Dylan Thomas' last tour, and recall a line in it that went something like "I had thought it would be something more," spoken by the 'fixer' friend of Dylan's who was taken to the actual Fern Hill for the first time, his only prior experience of it being the poem itself. Obviously this is how metaphor (the poem) works, how thinking works, always making something more of  a thing than it is in reality. That is why we read fiction, for the order and drama and structure and impact and imagination that real life lacks. So metaphor is a desired distortion, a human recreation, but when it abandons its reference points, when metaphor becomes symbol which is metaphor for its own sake, it can be a loose cannon, as seductive as before, but dangerous in its persuasiveness.

 

Thanks again to David for sharing his thoughts, and for allowing me to share them with you on our blog.

Stay tuned for more guest posts from our authors as we gear up for our biggest publishing year yet!

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