The poet Frank Stanford was famous for his metaphors for the moon. Last month, Harpers Magazine published a collection of Stanford’s lunar phrases. Here are our favorites:
And the moon
Was a dead man floating down the river
The moon was a salt lick
For her cattle of darkness
It is a piece of butcher’s ice
Night and her moon
Like a widow with child
moon hung together with dark
like camp dogs in a ditch
And the moon was his white piano
And the moon was a body.
I don’t know who put coins over her eyes.
Flinching behind the trees.
It was a white flower
Afraid to be cut down from its dark stalk.
Á la Stanford, write about the moon in metaphor.
In other words, compare the moon to something (an object, a feeling, a place, a sound) to which it is not literally applicable, in order to give the reader a richer understanding of the moon you are describing.
Part of your task here is to find a fresh way to describe something that's been written about a million times before. Try going outside and looking at the moon, observing its shape and color, and the way it casts its light. Now play with comparisons until you hit on one that feels right, offering the moon to your readers in words they've never before heard.
Special thanks to Write the World members Brendan Gibbons
for responding to this prompt. You can read Norah's beautiful poem 'Luna'
here and Brendan's wonderful piece here
. We can’t wait to read yours!