Metaphor, metaphor, metaphor. It rises from the morass like a Swamp Thing, some terrible beauty waiting to be born. It forces a connection, a juxtaposition of idea, an interaction. There is applause. Under the applause is the actual heartbeat, the real meter of poetry, the real language of men. The pulse beats in the ear, the tinnitus under the floorboards of empty form. The heart says, “This is all lies.”
Metaphor trips the home Geiger counters. Critics and Nascent Poets run amok, screaming New Metaphor is Nigh. Critics and Nascent Poets are high on design, on conceptual beauty. These hillbillies and MFAs mistake technique for art, for conceptual thinking (because metaphor is conceptual thinking) as le raison d’etre.
We ask: who ever read a poem for metaphor alone? Yet many have written for metaphor alone, for onanism, solipsism, the eternal meta of self. They forget that metaphor begins with me. A reader of poetry looks to the poem not for intellectual play (though that is fine) nor the pure hybridization of signs (though that is fine) nor for allegory (though that is fine) nor, and follow me on this sacrilege, for a quest along the highway of sound (though that, too, is fine). A reader looks to the poem for the strange condition of emotion–emotion embodied, enacted as revenant state that vicariously possesses the reader to bury her head in the cosmos of genuine feeling. The poem is a device of fervour. The poem is not a Costco of metaphors, a warehouse of metaphors stocked by just-in-time delivery protocols. (Where there’s a metaphor, there’s a carrier.)
To read more, buy a copy for only $5!
Shane Book's Congotronic has been nominated for the prestigious Griffin Poetry Prize. Book's poems were published in Ryga 3.
Congratulations to Ryga 5 contributor Jennifer LoveGrove , whose novel Watch How We Walk has been longlisted for the Giller Prize.
Congratulations to Renée Sarojini Saklikar on winning the 2014 Canadian Authors Association Poetry Award for Children Of Air India. An excerpt from this collection was published in Ryga 5.
Ryga is now available to read online! We are pleased to bring you an e-version of Issue 7 at no cost.
Ryga: A Journal of Provocations showcases the work of both established and emerging writers who explore social issues. We publish two times a year out of Okanagan College.