Welcome to Five-Phrase Friday, a weekly spotlight on English phrases I enjoy. This week we revisit poetic turns of phrase with a random selection of gems that demonstrate ways to write about birds, the sea, and sex, and how to group unexpected ideas together.
From these passages alone, can you detect the mood of each poem?
Do you recall the difference between simile and metaphor? Can you spot one of each?
1. "in profuse strains of unpremeditated art" - "To a Skylark" by Percy Shelley 2. "wine-dark sea" - The Iliad of Homer (his legendary status merits the change in preposition) 3. "and be simple to myself as the bird is to the bird" - "Birds" by Judith Wright 4. "sailing toward the iceberg of her nakedness" - "Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes" by Billy Collins 5. "hair, glacier, flashlight" - "A Valediction Forbidding Mourning" by Adrienne Rich
Great phrases often point to great larger works. I encourage you to read the whole poems–and poetry collections–whence these snippets arise. Hmm… Seems I’m feeling a little Elizabethan, or at least archaic (surprise, surprise). Maybe next time I’ll feature bawdy Shakespearean insults. What do you think?
Free your phrases this week. Word.