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An update from our twelfth Writing Workshop with Conner Bassett

A summary of the workshop held on Saturday September 11, plus some of the output published below

Conner Bassett began our fall session of writing workshops with a question: what does it mean to write fiction or poetry? His answer? To put into language what is inherently nonlinguistic. This definition, he realized, could be simplified into one word—metaphor. From there we defined metaphor (a comparison between two things), using famous phrases such as "Life is a highway" & "All the world is a stage" as examples. Through a reading of Emily Dickinson's "Hope is the Thing with Feathers," we learned how metaphors can help us make abstract concepts into concrete images. To further this point, we looked at two works of art published in the September 2021 Issue of Stone Soup—I Feel Music by Serena Li & The Hidden World by Sabrina Lu. Next, we learned how metaphors can help us understand complex ideas and emotions through a discussion surrounding the line "But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun!" from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. This concept was strengthened by visual metaphors seen in the Egyptian Icon The Ladder of Divine Ascent and Wyeth's Christina's World. Finally, we learned how metaphors transform one thing into something completely different so that we can see it in a new way. Examples used to back up this concept were a sentence from John Green's The Fault in our Stars, a few lines from Sylvia Plath's poem "Metaphors," and an advertisement for sunglasses in which lenses were transformed into lemon slices.

The Challenge: Two part prompt. First, write a one sentence metaphor about this painting: Norham Castle, Sunrise. Then, write a story or a poem that begins and ends with the same metaphor.

The Participants: Emma, Simran, Clara, Sinan, Olivia, Lina, Josh, Ellie, Alice B, Audrey, and Svitra


Svitra Rajkumar, 13
(Fremont, CA)

Free as a Bird

Svitra Rajkumar, 13

Feathers flap, determined.

Wings glide, graceful.

“You can't be a bird

If you don’t fly,” they say.

You can’t be a bird if you don’t try.

So I watch each baby bird

Flap its wings and grow.

Soon it flies away

But I have no choice

But to stay.

“Why don’t I go

Towards the sky,” they ask.

Why can’t I be the bird that

Doesn’t

Fly.

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