The Confidence of Metaphor

Metaphor lives in film today more than in literature.  Father Berrigan writes that he and his brother

stand like the fences
of abandoned farms.

Like it.  Why didn’t he just write a poem about the fences of abandoned farms?

Because he feared that no one would get it.

It is much easier to imagine a filmmaker showing an old fence. No voice-over, no “like.” Just a juxtaposition, perhaps, with a photo of an old fighter. I think of the rats on the London bridge overlooking Parliament in the original House of Cards.  No one needs to tell you that politicians are like rats.

The culture is educated in the visual, and gets it.  You can speak to it in film in a way ten thousand times more sophisticated than the way you may in poetry.