Have you ever heard words that don’t give you information as much as they give you a picture, an emotion, or a vision?
Beautiful Woman (by AR Ammons)
Cal you see it? Can you picture it in your mind? Can you see the beautiful woman? What I like about this short, one sentence poem is that you really don’t know if it is positive or negative? It doesn’t say the beautiful woman is no longer beautiful. In fact I would dare say that if you are reading this as a teenager, in the spring of life, you would take this as sad or negative. But if you are in your fifties you would look at this poem differently. It is almost like you are looking at this poem from different sides of the metaphor. As if you mentally hold the poem in your hands and look at it from a number of sides to figure out what it is saying. Then after careful examination you realize the poem isn’t saying much but it causes YOU to say a lot.
The mixed metaphor is almost a physical jolt to your brain. It causes your brain to do a: “Wait! What?” A spring in your step at the spring of your life seems to degenerate into falling into the fall of your life. But turn the poem to another angle and you find that the beauty of a fresh spring is just a foretaste of the beautiful maturity in the colors of fall.
We are now in a VERY political season and every word and phrase is analyzed and processed to the point where it is unrecognizable to the one who said it. Each candidate talks about “change” as if that is what we all want to do. But the truth is we are all uncomfortable with change, it is happening around us all the time, just watch the gas prices. Is change good or bad? The answer is both. If you pick up the word in your mind and look at it from all angles you will get both answer and more. You can take ANY word or phrase and make it say what you want it to say and do what you want it to do.
This makes our job more difficult because you and I can hear the EXACT same word and find what you want to hear in it. We need to hone our Word Vision and find intent behind the poem. We must take our stand on the intent and that takes work and research not just pundits and youtube videos. Find the intent and stand on it or you will fall for anything.