What Is A Metaphor?


(For Caroline)


An event so impactful that most people in a given time knows its name and roughly what happened is a “historical event.”

These events spawn avatars, even centuries later, turning up in people’s sayings, writings and creative works. The Swedish pop group ABBA for example, won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 with a song called Waterloo.

The opening words are:

“My my, at Waterloo Napoleon did surrender. Oh yeah! And I have met my destiny in quite a similar way.”

In quite a similar way? Well how DARE they? Here is the historical death and carnage toll (some 25,000 men killed) from the actual Battle of Waterloo:


It’s used in the ABBA song to convey final defeat in a love affair.

What is the metaphorical resonance of the very real, very horrific historical event then, that was the cruelly named “Kristallnacht–” the Nazi pogrom that swept through Germany and Austria Nov 9, 1938?

I was referring to an outbreak of state sanctioned hatred against a detested and (perceived as threatening) minority group, in this case independent reporters– in the battle between populism and globalism. The sense of the attacks now being done in the open, and almost welcomed by the state, media, and authorities–this was how I arrived at the metaphor of “Kristallnacht.”

Interesting that Caroline, who is proudly Jewish, with Middle Eastern, American, and Canadian heritage is NOT offended, whole others (not Jewish) seem hysterical almost.

I am not an authority of when use of these metaphors is kosher and when it isn’t–I am open to the charge that I chose the wrong word. A writer is supposed to choose the right word. If at all possible, the inevitable word.

I hope this opens the door for further discussion.



10 thoughts on “What Is A Metaphor?”

  1. Celia: Thanks for the ABBA music. It s happy music, and God knows we need a bit of that these days. I’m having difficulty parsing all of this. The G20 are the globalists. Are the leftist beater-up of journalists thugs who are protesting at the G20 also globalists? Are they so thoroughly indoctrinated by the ludicrous version of reality brought to us by the politicians and the media that they think unprovoked attacks on complete strangers is going to make the world a better place? Have they lost the capacity to think? Did they ever have it? The Left has become more dangerous than the Right. If they don’t get their way they put on masks and start clubbing people, as they did in Berserkley and elsewhere.

  2. Who is Caroline? Without knowing of this Caroline and her apparent words cause the above to seem as if there is a substantial “missing part” to the writing. Please clarify.

    As always, Thank you, Celia.

  3. I am blushing and humbled and thrilled. This is the maxim. Thank you. I hold this gift your post of a bouquet.

    Our Mothers make us oh they do. I feel them both. I have asked for yours to usher her in.

    While your insight and strong health is one that elevates me in the same way did Sam Clemens and herselvis: De Beauvoir. đŸ˜‰

    The space where the politically astute and magnificent speak to patterns in culture where the heart harkens to historical stakes in time.

    We wait patiently always for the food you give us..

    Sunday’s good god continues within.

    Farber’s daily bread.

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