Metonymy and Paint Chip Poetry

Spring is in full swing. Perhaps new life will make its way into some of our poems for this prompt. We are in the M section of the poetry journal and there were quite a few options, but many of them we way too long to type up for this post. And I definitely wasn’t going with the “meter” entry. I can never get my mind around the concept of meter in practice. I figured it out once, in theory, but that didn’t last long.

The Challenge

I settled on “metonymy,” which had the dual benefit of being something completely new to me and having a miniscule definition (so easy to type up).

METONYMY (meh-tahn’-uh-mee) A figure of speech in which a thing is represented by something closely associated with it, like “the White House” used to represent “the President of the United States.”

the poetry dictionary, pg. 172

My challenge is to write a poem, of any style, in which one or more of the paint chip words and phrases is used as a metonymy. You could write rhyming couplets or crazy free verse or a beautiful sonnet.

The paint chip words and phrases at your disposal are gauze, sagebrush, looking glass, rabbit hole, quicksilver, Plymouth Rock, and mountain town.

I do believe several of these make natural figures of speech.

My Poem

I’ve decided to go with couplets, which may or may not rhyme when all is said and done. And because it’s Good Friday, I’m using the cross as my muse.

What I See

Gazing in the looking glass, I wonder what I'll see.
The skin upon the surface, or what's deep inside of me?

Will who I see today resemble what was past?
Might quicksilver of the Spirit shine through at last?

Dregs of the rabbit hole where I went astray
By the blood of Jesus now washed away.

Surveying the looking glass, reflecting grace.
May God's compassion show upon my face.

Your Turn

Now it’s your turn. How will use these paint chip words and phrases to express something below the surface? You can post your poem in the comments, if you like. Or you can post it on your own blog and drop a link in the comments. I look forward to reading what you all come up with.

I am a Jesus Freak, and I don't care who knows it. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My blood family is only part of the larger family of Christ that I belong to. I love to write, especially about my dear Savior.

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20 Responses

  1. I dont know if this is right, but I wrote a poem using looking glass. No title yet.

    I stood before the looking glass
    Inspecting every whit
    I wanted to make sure
    Every part of me was fit
    As I stepped out of view
    What I failed to recognize
    The image looking back at me
    Was in reverse
    It lied

  2. I dont know if it is exactly right, but I used looking glass and wrote a poem.
    I still don’t have a title.

    I stood before the looking glass
    Inspecting every whit
    I wanted to make sure
    Every part of me was fit
    As I stepped out of view
    What I failed to recognize
    The image looking back at me
    Was in reverse
    It lied

  3. Linda, after reading this post yesterday, the idea of metonymy showed up in my dream last night! Unfortunately, my dream-self did not use any of those paint-chip words. 😅

  4. Here is a poem using “rabbit hole” as you have. Have a blessed Easter.

    I used to love my rabbit hole
    so dark with death and dirt.
    When Jesus bopped my rabbit ears,
    washed my clothes, released my fears
    these tears of joy don’t hurt.

  5. METONYMY is a new word for me. Looking at the paint chips, in my mind Plymouth Rock naturally equates to Pilgrims. I’ll get to work and return later with a link.

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