For millennia, humans have looked up at that common crescent in the sky. Waxing and waning, the moon is ever-changing, but it is also a source of solace in its predictability—available to us all, ever present.
This week marks 50 years since Apollo 11 touched down on the surface of the moon. In honor of the moon’s extraordinary presence in our lives (up close or far away!), write about the moon in metaphor. The poet Frank Stanford was famous for his metaphors, so much so that Harpers Magazine
published a collection of his “lunar phrases”. Read through some of our favorites below, and then write your own metaphors for the moon:
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.
In these examples, dear writers, notice how the metaphors 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.
For more inspiration, check out the works of your fellow writers: "Moon Metaphors"
by ruzahk and "Defence Mechanism"
by Ashley Tan.