Tuesday Tryouts: Metaphor This

01 Feb

8:12 am, Tuesday 1 February, 2011 – Atlanta

Hello! I hope everyone had a good weekend. I am recovering from visitors. They were less exhausting in my youth.

Today’s exercise is a lot of fun and I suggest you try several. You may or may not end up with a poem, but if you have trouble with metaphor, this will take you a long way to overcoming it. I have no images to decorate this post because I don’t want to suggest anything [even a clipart version] to your brain. The imagery needs to be all yours.

This week we will take comparison further.

Pick one of the below and freewrite. Do another…and one more?

Describe the night as seen by a young (wo)man whose first child has just been born. Do not mention birth, children, or the parent doing the seeing.

Describe a body of water as seen by a teenager contemplating suicide. Do not mention death, suicide, or the teenager doing the seeing.

Describe a bridge as seen by a middle-aged adult who just can’t seem to do well in her job. Do not mention school or the adult doing the seeing.

Describe a dog or a cat as seen by a child whose parent has just done something awful. Do not mention the parent, what the parent did, or the child doing the seeing.

Describe a forest, or some other natural scene, as seen by a woman whose detested husband has just died [yes, you can switch genders]. Do not mention the husband, the death, or the woman doing the seeing.

The trick is to accomplish the exercise without resorting to cliche and being obvious. Again, this is setting up for the next step. Next week we will discuss metaphors a little and I will give you two final prompts to work with, similar to these, but working towards a poem with one of them, so we can move into the revision process.

See you Thursday, when I do have a few loose ends to tie up.


Posted by on 01/02/2011 in exercises, poetry, writing


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2 responses to “Tuesday Tryouts: Metaphor This

  1. pamela

    02/02/2011 at 1:35 pm

    Margo, I just saw you have a prompt site for Tuesdays
    over at PU. I also mentioned Donna’s site.
    I love this exercise, but due to time I won’t be able
    to participate. However, I will use it for future
    writing exercises.
    I will be back next Tuesday.

    • margo roby

      02/02/2011 at 1:39 pm

      Hi Pamela, No problem. I have shy followers who don’t post their poems, but let me know they are checking in, so there is no time limit to my prompts. They’ll be there every Tuesday. On Thursday I usually discuss an aspect of poetry, although this week will be a tying up of loose ends. And, Fridays, I do a roundup of the sites I mentioned on PU [as well as a couple of others], so that people can come to one site for a digest of what’s around and choose where to go from here.
      You are always welcome 🙂


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