metonymy: “A figure of speech that substitutes the name of a related object, person, or idea for the subject at hand. Crown is often substituted for monarchy…should not be confused with synecdoche, a substitution of a part of something for the whole or the whole for a part.” – NTC’s Dictionary of Literary Terms (1991)
This literary device is often used in poetry as a kind of metaphor that can provide context for the poem’s topic and the poet’s subjective view of the topic, yet reverberate as something more universal. In Mary Kinzie’s A Poet’s Guide to Poetry, she asserts that, “no matter what ideas fed the works, mental and emotional content must depend on objective counters and local embodiments to some degree. Without material embodiment, no spirit can come through the pattern.” Metonymy satisfies those conditions so frequently that many of us poets do it automatically or subconsciously if you want to go that far. For example, I used “flesh” to represent sin or shame in Blind With My Flesh – Judicium as a reference to how flesh is perceived in Abrahamic beliefs.
To my fellow poets and writers, have you looked back at your own work and noticed you do this too?
More Literary Terms
Do you ever catch yourself trying to gain the approval of others? I consider that to be a bad habit of mine. There’s nothing I need to prove and trying to make people understand where I’m coming from can be such a drag. I feel like I’m surrounded by people who don’t try to get […]
Prompt via The Life of Dee: Autumnal crafts for toddlers – give us ideas on what our little ones could make this season. I don’t have children. I’m not crafty. I wasn’t even allowed to do autumn crafts because when you’re raised by Christian parents, they think everything is a gateway to Satan. So I […]
It’s so important to have just one day completely stress free, but that’s not easy…like ever. Considering that many of us have been “grinding” so to speak either in the workforce or in school most of our lives, we can’t just say, “I’m relaxing now,” and boom! You’re chill AF. That’s not life. That’s not […]