The Animal Metaphor Poem by Charles Ghigna

The Animal Metaphor Poem

Think of an animal that best represents what poetry means to you. What are its various traits and activities? Let that animal serve as your metaphor. I’m setting my little Porcupine Poem free so that he might prick your muse into action!

Sometimes the best part of a poem comes after we are finished reading it, that extra moment or two later when its poetic impact is fully realized.

The Porcupine Poem

(Porcupines can raise their quills, turn around, and run backwards into their prey.)

Just when you think
you are done with it,
the poem turns on you,

charges back for more,
pricks you with its
finer points,

reminds you
things are not
what they seem,

that the past is not past
until it turns and shows
its sharp, uncompromising side.

©Charles Ghigna

11 thoughts on “The Animal Metaphor Poem by Charles Ghigna

  1. Hee. I skipped some of the intro and went straight to the poem; I read it understanding that just when you think you are done with it, the poem YOU ARE WRITING turns on you, charges back for more. That happens too!

    This is an interesting challenge….

  2. Dear PACYA Poets,

    Thanks for all your comments and poetic contributions to our weekly Poems About Poetry feature these past few weeks. I just received word that PACYA has decided to discontinue this feature. So before old Father Goose graciously bows out, I’d like to leave you with this one last Animal Metaphor Poem, this one about a goose, well, actually about goose liver, aka “Poetry Pâté.”

    Metaphors be with you!

    Poetry Pâté

    Poems are truffles
    uprooted by the sow
    who squeals at you
    before she devours her find.
    It is your job
    to rescue each truffle
    before it is eaten.
    Let no one conceit
    this idea into
    soils of soul
    or gardens of the mind.
    There is no dewy bouquet
    in poem-making.
    It is all shovel
    and pick and fingernail dirt.

    The goose liver, too, is a poem,
    found and fattened by force,
    handfuls of barely corn
    pushed past her perfect beak
    before the bulk rate rubber band
    is stretched into place
    around her swollen throat,
    a ritual without song
    as the swan would have it.

    The wafer now waits
    with its foreign spread.
    Do not grimace
    when you taste
    what you have done.
    You will only ask for more.
    You will reach again to rescue
    the bloated bird,
    the baited sow
    before they swallow
    what they cannot eat.

    ©Charles Ghigna

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