How to Sharpen a Knife


Your metaphor is your whetstone; choose well.
Perhaps a swallow, a comet, a bell,

an amethyst, the moon. Wet it with tears,
a typhoon, the amber sap wrung from fears.

Lay one side of the blade, dull edge against stone,
and hone it thus, hard, as though against bone.

In one direction only; back and forth,
and the metal splays rough, loses its worth.

Now the other side, slow easy strokes, same
direction, wide edge to the point of pain.

Tendered thus, when you thrust the sharpened
blade between unwary ribs, it should rend

as if through parchment, shearing burnished art
past muscle, sinew, deep into the heart.


30 comments:

  1. Short link - http://bit.ly/s4knife

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  2. Your visions cover a vast spectrum in beauty poetically.

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  3. I love this

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  4. Thank you for the kind words. Ars poetica is such a rich theme, I find myself coming back to it again and again.

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  5. Wonderful poem, great cadence as well as imagery, cool and hot at once. K.

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  6. Now on Poets and Artists, along with a self-portrait
    http://poetsandartists.com/2012/03/07/samuel-peralta/

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  7. Samuel, I have been thinking of you lately and the fact I haven't slowed down long enough to follow your fb links. This was a wonderful one to come back to. Few have the craft to express the heart.
    Now I have back reading to do!

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  8. when it comes to metaphors, your knife is always razor sharp sam..excellent

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  9. Yes, I agree with Claudia, you have a magic forged weapon.

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  10. Fabulous, Samuel. This praise to the power of words, used in their best form, honed, perfected, steeled, tells a pure and everlasting truth. The power of words!

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  11. Really an amazing write, with empathy and wisdom of know the pains.

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  12. Sam, there is no one who can write an effective metaphore as well as you can. The ending is a 'killer.'

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  13. fark dude....truth in this...you must sharpen it well to pierce some hearts....but in the hands of one that knows the art of a metaphor..it can surely strike...

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  14. Samuel,
    As always, very well written. I did not expect the twist in the end that you provided, then again maybe I should ;). Thanks for sharing!
    ~Corbie Sinclair

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  15. Sam, a wonderful poem.

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  16. Beautifully rendered! Love the detail, "wet it with tears, a typhoon..." Wonderful.

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  17. I remembered this poem - Excalibur! k.

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  18. Concise, precise, and enlightening. Love the couplets, for they create space and pace and clarity. I also enjoyed how informative and educational your poem is, Sam.

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  19. Metaphors are liaisons between the human mind and the complex. Scientist use metaphors. Think about the atom. We know how it behaves, but we've never seen one, so we came up with a model--in other words a metaphor. Religions use metaphors. Still poets are the master of metaphor. Great poem.

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  20. As always, Sam, you deliver a glistening gem, flashing facets of your metaphor, showing us ourselves by the light of it. Much applause.

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  21. powerful ...I love coming here...you inspire me so with your gift for weaving words.

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  22. Metaphors are like gold to me. You've spun this one well. Nicely done.

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  23. A "meta" poem about metaphors, Sam. Brilliant! True and thoughtful!

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  24. A gorgeous, gorgeous poem, Sam-- don't be surprised if it shows up in someone's work as an epigraph. The next time you host at DVerse you should talk about the figure and esp. metaphor, as writing metaphors is such great practice even for novice poets... xxxxj

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  25. "Tendered thus, when you thrust the sharpened
    blade between unwary ribs, it should rend

    as if through parchment, shearing burnished art
    past muscle, sinew, deep into the heart."

    I truly love the way this weaves in an out through descriptives and metaphor and just paints such an amazing picture, each line leading to and adding to the next, building to the last 2 stanzas. Your poetry has such a flow to it, I can reread it many times and with each find something new to love. Well penned, Sam.

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  26. Anonymous4:24:00 AM

    Oh you do kill so elegantly sir!:)
    Rallentanda

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  27. to the point of pain...

    and the whole is a smooth, lethal thrust

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  28. Slash, thrust, push, retrieve. You know how to handle your poetic blade so well!

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