LIT1100 Introduction to Literature University of Northwestern – St. Paul

Extended Metaphor Assignment Directions: This week, you have read poems utilizing metaphors and even tried writing some yourself. Now you will be writing an extended metaphor, which is simply when the entire poem works around this one "controlling" metaphor. Context

One of my favorite extended metaphors is from a short story by Budge Wilson entitled, fittingly, "The Metaphor" (from the book The Leaving) in which the narrator, Charlotte, comes of age and realizes that standing up for someone who others scorn is difficult but the right thing to do. The metaphor I'm most fond of is written by Charlotte about Miss Hancock, her English teacher, who initially inspires Charlotte to write. Miss Hancock is very flamboyant in her clothing style and tastes and passionate about teaching, and while her flamboyance and passion are acceptable when Charlotte is only a seventh grader, Miss Hancock's exuberance is considered terribly "uncool" as Charlotte graduates to eighth grade. Soon, Charlotte's classmates begin to cruelly scorn the teacher, and Charlotte does nothing to stop them or defend Miss Hancock. When Miss Hancock dies suddenly, Charlotte writes the following metaphor which reflects her distress over turning her back on her once-beloved teacher.


Charlotte's poem about Miss Hancock (pp. 14-15): Miss Hancock was a birthday cake. This cake was frosted by someone unschooled in

the art of cake decoration. It was adorned with a profusion of white roses and lime-green leaves, which drooped and dribbled at the edges where the pastry tube had slipped. The frosting was of an intense peppermint flavor, too sweet, too strong. Inside the cake had two layers–chocolate and vanilla. The chocolate was rich and soft and very delicious. No one who stopped to taste it could have failed to enjoy it. The vanilla was subtle and delicate; only those thoroughly familiar with cakes, only those with great sensitivity of taste, could have perceived its true fine flavor. Because it was a birthday cake, it was filled with party favors. If you stayed long enough at the party, you could amass quite a large collection of these treasures. If you kept them for many years, they would amaze you by turning into pure gold. Most children would have been delighted by this cake. Most grown-ups would have thrown it away after one brief glance at the frosting.

I wish that the party wasn't over.


Think of someone in your life for whom you have very strong feelings and comprise an extended metaphor of at least 6 lines (no maximum). Post this in the Week 3 Extended Metaphor forum. Review and comment on at least one classmate’s metaphor.

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