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View from hilltop in snow over clouds to far hill. View from hilltop in snow over clouds to far hill.

Metaphor as Image

But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun!

William Shakespeare (1595)

[Ezra Pound] thought that two or more juxtaposed images, with no apparent connection, could catalyse an intuitive perceptual leap across the pause or boundary between them.

Ratnagarbha (2021)


Shakespeare shows us how within our minds two ideas may seamlessly merge. However, while verbal metaphors Large words on rocks reflected in river. Naming and metaphors as the basis of language.

homogenise their parts with ease, two pictures such as these (the sun rising on the balcony and the light of the smiles of these Juliets) lack that smooth facility. The difference between A dragon on a roof od the Linh Phuc pagoda near Da Lat. Dragons as an example of Hume's 'ideas' as opposed to our sensations. the way words work within our heads, and pictures impact on our senses, is the gap Ezra Pound was seeking to reduce in his promotion of the ‘Imagist Movement’ in poetry. That movement drew the creative work of writing A spider's web between stalks. An example of the concrete writing that appealed to Pound. closer to picture-making verbally playing on the ambiguity of ‘image’, being both concept and picture. Man with beard sitting on bench, knees clasped, by water. Words and photographs vie for the same ground Metaphor lies near the heart of this rapprochement. Shakespeare’s mastery of metaphor is unrivalled; it is the life-force of his writing. In the hands of such a master, the receiver is delighted, a delight repeatedly tinged with surprise at the ‘leap’. This is metaphor; in coalescing previously divergent elements it reanimates communication.

Romeo’s famous speech comes at the beginning of scene ii, act II of Romeo and Juliet. In issue 35 of the Buddhist Art Journal, Urthona, Ratnagarbha is considering the impact of Buddhism on twentieth century writing in his article The Crack of Vision, these words are on page 5.

Taken in northern Vietnam, the delight of these H’Mong Juliets’ faces was photographed near Sa Pa. To the East, by 80 kms, and quite independently, the rising sun is seen touching a balcony in Xín Mần.

Above, hovering on blue introduces a link: click to go, move away to stay.


Saturday 2nd April 2022

Murphy on duty to this site