Note on Poetic Metaphor

Unfortunately for professional poets (not just poets in the formal sense of the term), there is a metaphor that remains pre-reflective, pre-analytic, pre-propositional, and that is the metaphor of the everyday. The metaphor that one can readily submit to linguistics is a metaphor of the academic, the researcher, the professional poet whose metaphoric use of the metaphor is the vaporized metaphor of the everyday that has to be reduced first into a vapor for it to become an object of linguistic analysis (which I am not saying should be renamed as a science of vaporizers).

The thickness of the materiality of the metaphor of the everyday will remain the envy of the professional. As honest as a writer like Blanchot would acknowledge that writing itself (presumably, inescapably metaphoric) is just about reporting how a disaster occurs at the moment of writing, or about a certain violence that ‘writing’ does with the everyday.

And to extend Blanchot’s take here quite liberally, writing about metaphor as an object of study mutilates the metaphor of the pre-linguistic (or the pre-scientific vis-à-vis linguistics as science), which makes this analysis responsible for a certain yet unnameable crime. Surprisingly, no single writer or poet (professional I mean) has been jailed for this unspeakable crime against reality, which in fact is the Ur-sprung of all crimes. Surprisingly, we have the Law, which is full of language, intended to punish a crime that traces its roots in language.

This could be the reason why poets are banished in Plato’s Republic.  And all that without saying that Plato understood well the consequences of misinterpreting this gesture–ah, the poets in our midst!

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