Thank you for the very warm welcome and the incredible responses. Â I hope you can take a minute and read a few of them via the links at the bottom.
Our poetry device of the week is...The Simile! Â The simile compares one thing to another, like the metaphor, but the simile draws a resemblance, whereas the metaphor proposes a more direct relationship--an equality, or a substitution, you might say. Â The metaphor is the stronger of the two types of comparison. Â Rule of thumb: Â if it uses the words like or as, it's a simile, if not, it's a metaphor. Â Similes can also use "resembles" and similar words, as well as formulations like "as [adjective] as" e.g. "as smooth as silk."
Our prose point of view this week is Dramatic Monologue. Â Unlike the interior monologue, the speaker is speaking to a definite audience. Â We are overhearing a particular speaker tell a particular story for a particular reason--to a specific, but not necessarily specified, other person or persons. Â Monologues are a staple of theater, but they can be found everywhere. Â The movie Casablanca begins with a dramatic monologue; so does Dr. Strangelove. A classic short story example is "Straight Shooter" by John O'Hara. Â Another is "My Speech To The Graduates" by Woody Allen.
Prose: Â Write a short story (1000 words or less, please) written as a dramatic monologue. Â Don't get the idea it has to be a soliloquy, like Hamlet's "To be or not to be..." Â O'Hara's "Straight Shooter" is a pool hustler nattering to the opponent he's trying to hustle.
Poetry: Â Write a poem with at least one simile in it. Â Any style you please. Â Try to come up with something lively and original. Â Here are some good examples:
"They laughed loud and often, showing opaque and lusterless teeth like squares of crockery." Dorothy Parker
"We scurry along the beach like sandpipers late for an appointment." DW
"Darkness covers the flower-papered walls,/The furniture and floors,/Like a mild stain." Mark Strand
"Her platinum hair cascaded out from her pillbox hat like a kettle of rice boiling over." Â DW
"His imagination resembles the wings of an ostrich." Â Thomas MacCaulay
"His voice was as intimate as the rustle of sheets." Dorothy Parker
"Facing me sat a stout man with a hard, red face like a book of rules." Anthony Carson
If you're still working on one of last week's prompts, by all means, get it in whenever you can. Â Tag your response with "sunwe" and post it to Gather Writing Essential and any other group you like. Â I will comment on every one and put a link to it in the next column. Â If you want a more exacting, academic critique (but still very friendly and positive), put the word "rigorous" in your post somewhere, as "rigorous critique welcome."
Last week's responses:
Poem with Metaphor:
Ivan P. put his poem "the life flies on" in a comment.
Â© 2012 Douglas J. Westberg.