Wednesday, February 14, 2018


When I ask my students to make metaphors
they take to it right away.

A metaphor for love?
They have an idea!

“Love is a rose,”
one tells me,
“Because it’s beautiful,
and it smells nice,
but it has thorns,
and it rots.”

Yes, I tell them.
That is a perfect
which is why writers
have been using it
for centuries.

On Valentine’s Day
they buy each other roses,
and there is an intoxicating aroma,
and petals on the floor in the hallways
in an array of pinks and reds,
and some people carry bouquets
and other people cry,

and who cares whether the metaphor isn’t original?

You’re right,
I tell them.
I tell them,
love is a rose.

Ruth, from

1 comment:

Irene Latham said...

I tell students, the reason we have cliches, is because we all relate to them and know what they mean! I also encourage them to leave cliches in early drafts... it's part of the process of us getting to that image/thought we know is there, but we haven't yet discovered... you can always discard a cliche in later drafts. Just don't get hung up on them. Thanks for your poem and your viewpoint! xo