January 22, 2008

I Am Not a Simile. I Am Like a Metaphor.

Has anyone else noticed that a simile is like a metaphor, but a metaphor is not like a simile?

In fact, a metaphor isn't like anything at all.

It just is.

Being thus, it's plain to see that a metaphor can be anything at all, provided it isn't like anything else.

Which means, contrarily, that a metaphor can be a simile, but a simile can never be a metaphor.

You can have a simile used metaphorically in which case it is a metaphor and not like a simile at all.

You can't have a metaphor used like a simile; because it would then be a simile which is not a metaphor.

Got it? Good.

Moving on.

A metaphor can also be another metaphor as long as it resists the temptation to be like another metaphor.

A metaphor that is a metaphor for another metaphor is, itself, a meta-metaphor, but this does not mean that the meta-metaphor is like like the metaphor for which it is metaphorically representing.

It does mean that the meta-metaphor is a representation of the is which the metaphor it represents is representing metaphorically.

It is entirely possible, even given these parameters, that a metaphor could like something else.

A metaphor could even like a simile or another metaphor; it could not, however, like being like a simile or another metaphor.

You could have a metaphor that liked a metaphor that was a metaphor for liking something else.

You could even have a metaphor that liked a simile that was like liking something else entirely.

It is even possible to have a metaphor that like-liked a simile in a junior high sort of way; provided that the metaphor didn't like-like the simile like another metaphor did, because this would lead to fisticuffs and unclear literary distinctions.

Fighting among metaphors would be rare, of course. They are generally a likable bunch. Personally, I've never met a metaphor that I didn't like.

Metaphors, in that way, are unlike similes. Similes are like those jerks who always like to pretend that they like each other, like the phonies they like to be like.

As if.

2 comments:

ShOI said...

I've always suspected that a metaphor is not as simile-like as a simile, but it's similar.

Bleeet said...

Your suspections were correct, Shoi, as always.