Tuesday, May 18, 2010

All slang is a metaphor

All slang is a metaphor, and all metaphor is poetry. G. K. Chesterton, Defendant (1901)

Interesting quote by Chesterton, Something to think about, slang changes as young people define their own metaphors for life and so the poetry of life for the young is not the same as for the Boomers, nor is our poetry of life the same as our Seniors.
How do you define the poetry of your life? What metaphors do you use to define your world, to build the paradigm in which you shape your view of the world? I think, we Boomers have worked hard to define the slang that defined our world, the metaphors that create our poetry, and in my mind how we view the world. Everyone has different metaphors that help them define their world, but the Boomers have shared some common history that has helped define us. We watched as man landed on the moon for the first time, we huddled under desks as we prepared for nuclear war, we believed that we would not live into our 30's because the Americans and the Russians would start the war that would destroy the world. We watched the American Dream unravel as President Kennedy was assassinated, and most of us saw the horror of war on TV as we watched young men our age fighting in a foreign land, that we knew nothing about. We wrestled with these and other problems,  Billy Joel in his wonderful song "We didn't start the fire" gives a brief outline of the history of the times and I think shows the forces that helped the Boomers develop the slang to create the metaphors of our life.
Each one of us reacted to the events of our lives and in the process, created the poetry of our lives, which we passed on to our children, who created their own poetry and metaphors for life--shaped, we hope, by our experiences. The nice thing about being a grandparent is we should try to understand the poetry and metaphors of our lives and pass these metaphors on to our grandchildren, so the dream can live again.

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