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Metaphorical Judgment: Poetry as an Education in Metaphor


Christine Perrin


One of our earliest documents on metaphor comes from Aristotle.  More recently Robert Frost—perhaps the last American poet who spoke out of and to a cultural center—spoke about the importance of being educated in metaphor in order to be educated at all.  We will look at these ideas along with specific poems (“We Grow Accustomed to the Dark” by Dickinson, “Mother to Son” by Hughes, and “Love (III)” by George Herbert) that show how poetry teaches us to think with metaphor.  We will also consider how essential metaphor is to thought.