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Every occupation has tools. The tools of the poet are words. In sharing emotions, stories, feelings or moments, words are the tools used by poets to forge images in our minds. Words are selected and fashioned by poets in a numbers of ways to form such images. One of the most commonly used methods of drawing images through words is known as metaphor. A metaphor is figure of speech where a word or phrase is used to designate an image, mood, tone, or other reference through comparison. As Sylvia Plath p. 30) asserts, ôPoets are m`sters of image, drawing vivid scenes in as little as two words.ö In The Best American Poetry (2004), Lyn Hejinian and David Lehman present a number of poets and poems that illustrated the use of metaphor to achieve such outcomes.

Ironically, perhaps the poem that most relies upon and most repeats the use of metaphor in The Best American Poetry is Marc JaffeeÆs ôKing of Repetition.ö In this poem, the speaker seems to feel he cannot create anything new. He begins and ends his address by saying ôI am none but king of repetitionàI am none but composition.ö In this poem the speaker seems to be lamenting the inability of human beings to really originate anything that is new in the universe. We might be able to put something a new way or color it differently but we are just, as the speaker laments, repeating something that already exists or has been done or occurred before. To convey this feeling of utter insignificance, Jaffee uses numerous metaphors. JaffeeÆs speaker tells us, ôI am the hand with its finger always touching REPEAT,ö ôI am the sickly stomach, and your lips and your eyes,ö and ôI am the winding streetö and the ôwindy street.ö These metaphors convey images that reinforce the speakerÆs feelings of utter insignificance. He seems to be everything and yet nothing, merely repeating what already exists in his compositions.


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Metaphor. (2000, January 01). In Retrieved 08:21, February 20, 2017, from