Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 24

Thread: The Great Metaphor Thread

  1. #1
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,079

    The Great Metaphor Thread

    Similes make me smile and I never metaphor I didn't like. All allegories are welcome; allusion, analogy, and alliteration too. Oh heck, any old literary device is fair game for this thread.

    My fellow bibliophiles, here's a place to share a particularly artful turn of a phrase — something that awed you, or made you laugh, or cry, or groan and roll your eyes. I mean, have you ever read something and thought — oh yeah, I'm gonna use that one the first chance I get? Or have you come up with a good simile on your own and wanted to float it out there? Well, float it here. Let it fly. Set it free. Let it bounce around the Litnet. Am I mixing metaphors here? Donno. Ah well.

    Here's one that's probably a folksy old saying, but I remember it from Ken Kesey's novel, Sometimes a Great Notion

    The boy was shaking like a dog sh*tting peach pits
    Simple, effective, and even if you've never witnessed such a thing, you can immediately imagine what it'd be like, and sympathize with the animal.

    This one hasn't aged as well, but it’s in the same vein. Here's Hunter S. Thompson describing a poor nights sleep:

    I was tossing and turning like a crack baby.
    It probably worked better in the 80s when a certain subset of Americans were convinced the nation was being besieged by drug-addicted welfare moms.

    Anyway — Fire at will
    Uhhhh...

  2. #2
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,079
    Already I’m straying from the script. This one is a form not a device. It’s from the book I just finished, Twilight Territory by Andrew X. Pham:

    seeds of gold to earth
    all hopes and fears but a dream
    what will be will be
    This haiku was written by one of the main characters, Japanese Army Major Yamazaki Takeshi. It’s towards the end of WWII and Takeshi is posted to Vietnam as a reward for heroic service in the war. Here he is burying a cache of gold and jewels that he’d acquired in a quasi-military raid against a man of low moral fiber.

    Takeshi’s thought’s:

    Since the first day he had been drafted, six years earlier, he had hoped for little more than survival. After nearly dying in battle, he now saw life passing by without giving him what made it all worthwhile: love, family, fatherhood. He also knew, from his months in the rehab ward, the misery of living with a crippled body. Whether or not the empire would be victorious at the end of this infernal war, he was certain that it would be dog-eat-dog for veterans trying to earn a livelihood when it was all over, let alone support a family. There was a fate worse than death. Anxiety, doubt, and happiness coalesced in his mind. He dug into his breast pocket for a notebook, scribbled some lines, tore off the page, and placed it on top of the stacks of gold slabs.
    It’s a haiku of course, but it works as a running metaphor for the rest of the novel — what will be will be.
    Uhhhh...

  3. #3
    Registered User bounty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    3,558
    i'll keep my eyes peeled as I go along...

  4. #4
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Beyond nowhere
    Posts
    11,470
    Blog Entries
    2
    What will be will be Mix English and Portuguese

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9nWB5XifBI
    "I seemed to have sensed also from an early age that some of my experiences as a reader would change me more as a person than would many an event in the world where I sat and read. "
    Gerald Murnane, Tamarisk Row

  5. #5
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,079
    Oh man! That tune was hugely popular back in the day. It was a little before my time, but I can remember my mother singing along with it when it came on the radio. Her repertoire was that one, a few by Patsy Cline, and all of Julie Andrews’ songs from The Sound of Music. She liked Julie Andrews so much she got her hair cut like hers. We used to give her a hard time when she’d sing because she was usually a little flat and always about a half beat behind. She’d say — I don’t care what you guys think. That’s how I like to sing. More power to you, Madre!

    Anyway, I’d always thought Que, Sera, Sera was a Spanish phrase, but according to the wiki page, it’s a little bit Italian, a little bit Spanish, but mostly Portuguese. Go figure.
    Uhhhh...

  6. #6
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Beyond nowhere
    Posts
    11,470
    Blog Entries
    2
    That is very funny, Sancho because I spent the most part of my life, thinking that the original was Portuguese and had been adopted and translated by US. I also learned only now that this mixed version had played a role in a film by Hitchcock.

    Here is the Brazilian version by the best singer of 1956. It was a hit in my childhood.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKlKMgAKt3g
    "I seemed to have sensed also from an early age that some of my experiences as a reader would change me more as a person than would many an event in the world where I sat and read. "
    Gerald Murnane, Tamarisk Row

  7. #7
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,079
    Nice. I think I like that version better. Music has got to be the most collaborative of any art form. I’m thinking of people getting together with their instruments and putting something together, garage bands, backyard barbecues, church choirs, stuff like that. Once money and record companies are involved, well that’s a whole other thing. Lawyers and judges gotta figure out who’s stealing from whom, and that can be problematic with music.

    Here’s B.B. King’s take on it:

    I don’t think anybody steals anything. We all borrow.
    Here’s an oldie but a goodie:

    Sh-boom, The Chords

    https://youtu.be/XSL-YtVV9U4?si=vmGxBQp4ZHtyHQ4q

    Just about everybody’s heard it, but maybe not that particular version. Here’s another version:

    Sh-boom, The Crew Cuts

    https://youtu.be/CikEbEtnBcE?si=PgnhVzI-pCXwfHmo

    Ain’t it a B**** when the cover band gets all the fame and fortune?

    In keeping with the gist of the thread, here’s Hunter S. Thompson comparing writing to music. He’s talking about the freedom he gained when he wrote about The Hell’s Angels:

    With the Angels, however, there was a freedom to use words. I’m a word freak. I like words. I’ve always compared writing to music. That’s the way I feel about good paragraphs. When it really works, it’s like music. In sportswriting, you have the freedom to use really aggressive words. There’s a whole breadth of vocabulary. The Angels gave me that same feeling, like hot damn, the thing was rolling right in front of you. You could touch them on their cycles, you could hear them, and you could see the fear and fright in the citizens’ faces.
    From Songs of the Doomed,
    book 3 of the Gonzo Papers
    Uhhhh...

  8. #8
    Registered User tailor STATELY's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Gold Country
    Posts
    18,652
    Blog Entries
    13
    My contribution: https://www.google.com/search?newwin...4sNKV_FIw,st:0



    Ta ! (short for tarradiddle),
    tailor
    tailor

    who am I but a stitch in time
    what if I were to bare my soul
    would you see me origami

    7-8-2015

  9. #9
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,079
    Haha!

    If the game of golf is a metaphor for life, then my name must be Mulligan.

    Speaking of metaphors for life, I think Danik’s earlier posting of the Que Será Será song fits well. I mean we all have a little control over our fate, but we’re also to a certain extent just along for the ride. What will be will be. I was thinking of this yesterday when La señora and I were out for hike in the Olympics (the sun is finally coming back in the PNW). Anyway we were hiking along, enjoying the sunshine, looking for wildlife, and generally having a grand old time. I was in charge of the bag of trail mix and consequently I was munching my way down the trail. I got to thinking about how Forrest Gump’s simile for life related to the song:

    Momma always said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. Ya never know what you’re gonna get.”
    Que Será Será

    About that time, La Señora said, “Hey, Sancho! Don’t Bogart the trail mix. Gimme some of that.” So of course I handed over the bag to her. At which point she said, “Ah Christ! You already ate all the M&Ms.”

    So here’s my Forrest Gump-like simile for life:

    Life is like a bag of trail mix. You’ve still got a ways to go, but you’re down to peanuts and Chex mix because somebody ate all the M&Ms
    Uhhhh...

  10. #10
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,079
    If ya dig around there might be some raisins left.
    Uhhhh...

  11. #11
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Beyond nowhere
    Posts
    11,470
    Blog Entries
    2
    A cute metaphor!

    By the way:M&Ms are familiar, they are, of course the ones covered with chocolate. We have them here but not Chex mix. Look inviting though:https://www.brazilianashop.com/pacot...42-un-prd.html


    Here is a Brazilian one much less imaginative:

    Life is a box of surprises. You never know, what you will get.
    "I seemed to have sensed also from an early age that some of my experiences as a reader would change me more as a person than would many an event in the world where I sat and read. "
    Gerald Murnane, Tamarisk Row

  12. #12
    Registered User bounty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    3,558
    what sancho is referring to danik is likely his own homemade version of "trail mix" or "gorp" (good ol' raisins and peanuts, usually with some chocolate and who knows what else).

    on the m&m's front---they made it to the final four of the candy march madness for tailor where they will soon be competing against snickers, and then the winner of peppermint patty and heath bar.

  13. #13
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,079
    Holy-Moly, I never knew what GORP stood for. I oughtta start a Great Acronym Thread.

    Also, are you effing kidding me!? Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups didn’t make the cut!? Blasphemy.

    Yes, well, so anyway, Naughty Metaphors.

    This one's a little dated because we don't really hear cigarette commercials on air anymore. Laws were passed in the 60s and 70s. Even before the government saved us from cigarette ads, they were saving us from obscenities being broadcast. The upside of FCC regulation was we got A LOT of sexual innuendo and metaphor in music, some subtle, some not. This one is not so subtle:

    I Don't Know
    Willie Mabon, 1952
    Covered by
    The Blues Brothers, 1978:

    https://youtu.be/dhKoI2eXdRc?si=SEDZE9zXNJC6qR_t

    About 2:40 into the video:

    I said Baby
    You know when you bend over I see every bit of Christmas
    And when you bend back I'm looking right into the New Year
    She said Honey, you know I gave up cigarettes for my New Year's resolution
    But I didn't give up smoking
    I said Woman, you going to walk a mile for a Camel
    Or are you going to make like Mr Chesterfield and satisfy?
    She said That all depends on what you’re packing
    Regular or Kingsize
    Then she pulled out my Jim Beam, and to her surprise
    It was every bit as hard as my Canadian Club
    I said What now you got to say baby?
    She said Umm...I don't know
    Last edited by Sancho; 03-26-2024 at 12:43 PM.
    Uhhhh...

  14. #14
    Registered User bounty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    3,558
    unfortunately, possibly due to a lack of seeding on my part, reeses peanut butter cups were defeated in the first round by heath bar, which recently just defeated peppermint patty to earn a spot in the finals against snickers.

  15. #15
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,079
    Well, I enjoyed the Deaver book, The Bone Collector. I liked the science. Also he did a nice job building the characters. Here's a science-y metaphor he used to describe Amelia Sachs' driving stye (fast):

    Sachs now sliced between two double-parked trucks, hoping that neither a passenger nor a driver would open his door. In a Doppler whisper she was past them.
    I'm thinking you get a sound-wave doppler effect when Amelia drives by.
    Uhhhh...

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-09-2011, 10:42 AM
  2. Help With Metaphor
    By wayc in forum Julius Caesar
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-02-2010, 06:05 PM
  3. Metaphor in Wordsworth
    By raindrops4u in forum Wordsworth, William
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-08-2009, 04:44 PM
  4. On The Nature of Metaphor
    By Sitaram in forum General Literature
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-05-2005, 02:26 AM
  5. The Mathematics of Metaphor
    By Sitaram in forum General Literature
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-18-2004, 12:48 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •