Definition & Invention

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Photos: Flowers, Volcanoes National Monument, Big Island, Hawaii

Knowledge

A firm handshake with truths, fluency

in facts, effortless conversance in particular

subjects; acquaintance and knowing

grow. Comprehension burgeons

like pink blossoms from Prunus serrulata,

brilliant branches of learning.

In planning this poem I tried to utilize the images related to relationship building to show that gaining knowledge is related to our relationship with the material we are studying. I also wanted to use a bit of a turn in the end. The turn emphasizes a specific piece of information, the scientific name of the cherry tree, and the idea a specific reference to learning. What I wanted to show in this end part is the transformation that happens when we have knowledge, when we know things by heart.

Of course I know what knowledge is, but having to use the dictionary caused me to have different angles for the poem. This is a good example of how poetry can help us to make intangible concepts more tangible. In creative writing classes, I advise students to avoid abstract concepts, such as love and desire, but this is one way to handle an abstract if it means results in real transformation: a subject and a deeper subject that resonate with readers.

*The prompt was to define a word and transform it by using metaphor.

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