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the sky / is smooth / as a turquoise
At first glance, this poem may not seem especially loaded with metaphors. There are some obvious cases - the eaten moon, the jasmine lightness, the lines as sepals of a flower. But, as we look closely, metaphors underlying our understanding of even the simplest lines appear. We need to look closely because some of them are such basic conceptual metaphors that we use them unconsciously and automatically, without effort, as part of our ordinary language.|
Consider "the sky / is smooth / as a turquoise" How can something we see but not touch be smooth? How does smoothness apply to vision? There is a basic metaphor that Seeing Is Touching, where the eyes are understood as limbs that reach out and perceive what they touch, as in
Her eyes picked out every detail of the decorations in her new house.
He couldn't take his eyes off her beautiful figure.
She ran her eyes all over her boy friend's apartment.
She blushed when their eyes met.
His eyes traced the outline of his shining new car.
You see, when we run our fingers across something as smooth as a turquoise, nothing interrupts the continuous motion. Similarly, when we scan a perfectly empty, clear blue sky, there is nothing to stop our gaze, no clouds...The metaphor of Seeing Is Touching maps the smooth stone onto the uninterrupted, empty blue sky.