Saturday, April 02, 2011

Poem #3 -- Metaphor Poem (plus a Simile Book Review)

Mosaic Metaphors 

Moments, memories, mementos

Organized optic chaos, gridlocked visual clutter

Soundless soundtrack of days

Artistic arrangement of scraps: quilt of time

Incidents. Incidental. Incremental.

Catalog with pages missing

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2011

It took me three tries to make this acrostic do what I wanted it to do. It started out as an acrostic about the images, even though I titled it "Metaphor Acrostic" in my writer's notebook. Not a single metaphor. It was a fairly adequate acrostic, but it didn't do what I wanted it to do. I wanted metaphors that described a mosaic. The second try got closer, but it still tried to do what I require my students' acrostics to do (at least initially) -- SAY SOMETHING. I tried to give it narrative flow, so that it could be read aloud without the listener realizing (or needing to know) it was an acrostic. I like the third try, the one above, best. It is a just a series of phrases, but I worked really hard on my word choice, and I like the way alliteration decided to join the fun. 

This is a metaphor poem, even though I never say outright, "A mosaic is...", which I think makes it a more interesting poem. I imply the "A mosaic is...", trusting that the title will alert my reader to infer the meaning in my lines as they relate to the vertical word, "MOSAIC." Hopefully my March mosaic helps the reader visualize to construct meaning, too.

Speaking of the mosaic, don't you love how it starts out all blue and blooming and ends all white and frozen? "In Like a Lamb, Out Like a Lion."

Now for the simile book review.

My Heart Is Like a Zoo
by Michael Hall (his website is here)
Greenwillow Books, 2010
review copy provided by the publisher

A metaphor is a way of comparing that says this thing IS that other thing. ("A mosaic IS a catalog with pages missing.") Similes compare by saying this thing IS AS _____ AS that other thing, or this thing IS LIKE that other thing.

My Heart is Like a Zoo is a simile poem that compares the speaker's heart to different animals in the zoo.
"My heart is like a zoo--
eager as a beaver,
steady as a yak,
hopeful as a hungry heron
fishing for a snack..."
Not only is this a delightful simile poem that compares the heart to twenty animals, all of the illustrations are composed of hearts!

Also reviewed by Katie at Creative Literacy
Betsy Bird reviews Michael Hall's new book, The Perfect Square, at A Fuse #8 Production


  1. What a fun Valentine's Day activity. Such a cute poem too. After watching the trailer, my 2 year old informed me that he has to have this. I love when books get kids excited. We'll be heading to the bookstore this week.

  2. Mary Lee,

    Love your "Mosaic Metaphors" acrostic!


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