Friday Poem of the Week–A Lesson on Metaphor

A hunka hunka burning…sun…

A Lesson on Metaphor

On a bright spring Friday, after lunch,
I told a sleepy class,
“This is an example of metaphor:
‘The evening sun is a dying ember.’
Something is being compared to something else
Essentially unlike it. Now give me another example.”

“The sun is a star,” one boy ventured.

A girl raised her hand, “The sun is a giant ball of
Gas.”

Another boy said, “The sun is the sun.”

“No,” I said. “Those are definitions, not metaphors.
They’re not comparing two essentially unlike things.”

“But,” the first boy insisted, “They’re true.”

“Unquestionably, they’re true. They’re just not
Metaphors.”

“Are metaphors true?” asked the girl.

The bell rang and they ran off before I could answer.
I had no answer because metaphors are and are not
True.
It depends.

The children ran off blinking in the spring sun.

Maybe I should have taught science
And not poetry.

In science, the sun is
A star
A giant ball of gas
A sun
And not

A dying ember.

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