The Role of Metaphor in Poetic Iconicity
LITERARY METAPHOR AFTER THE COGNITIVE REVOLUTION, Monika Fludernik, ed., Forthcoming
36 Pages Posted: 8 May 2009 Last revised: 29 Apr 2015
Date Written: May 5, 2009
Building on Masako Hiraga's studies of metaphor and icon in poetry, I argue that metaphor is the bridge that connects image to diagram in Peircean terms in order to create iconic emergent structure in the resulting blend. Poetic iconicity is achieved when metaphorical schemas enable a poem to achieve, in Susanne K. Langer's terminology, the semblance of felt life through forms symbolic of human feeling. Poetic iconicity thus also provides a means whereby the evaluation of a successful poem can be explained. In this paper, I compare two sonnets by Percy Bysshe Shelley and Horace Smith on the same theme, and show how and why Shelley's poem achieves poetic iconicity whereas Smith's doesn't.
Keywords: metaphor, blending, poetic iconicity, Ozymandias
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