Niamh Clune

Environment, poetry, comment, children's books,

On Metaphors!

“Metaphor plucks those nameless, shapeless, transcendent things out of the ethers, clothing them, so that they may come into the world.” (quote from The Coming of the Feminine Christ by Niamh Clune.)

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About Dr Niamh

When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down. One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.” Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!” I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I? I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.” Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray. With love from Dr. Niamh, Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books.

5 comments on “On Metaphors!

  1. dougjohnson1950
    March 29, 2012

    I love the way Niamh uses words to create images that dynamically convey conceptual ideas.

    To me it is a form of poetry and her book The Coming of the Feminine Christ has much more. I am not surprised that it is a much sought after book.

    Thanks Niamh


  2. loraneleavy
    March 29, 2012

    It is also true, that the metaphor, as an instrument of comprehension-enhancement, is at once lofty/deep and common/trivial. Totally non-discriminatory, metaphor ‘hangs out’ just as comfortably with the esoteric as it does with the mundane. Niamh’s imagery in THIS work elicits a ‘genuflection’, if you will, such is the spiritual/cosmic nature of her subject. She personalizes an experience that transcends the typical cognitive act, urging a unity of opposites thus creation of a new or “the third’ entity. Partnered, as it is with the power of myths, metaphor accomplishes, via Niamh’s gift, this special delivery message to ALL of humanity – the Collective Unconscious – that the time is fast approaching when ‘collective communication’ will be mandatory to survival.
    Her mentor, Dr. Jung, relied always on , “it is as if”, which worked for him but did not ‘sing’ for us as does Niamh’s metaphors.
    BTW, her cd, “Touching Angels” transforms simply reading this book into a ‘masterpiece event’ ! Lorane Leavy. . . .


    • ontheplumtree
      March 29, 2012

      Wow! Lorane. Thank You for your wonderful comments. I did not know you had read the book. Where did you find it as it is out of print? I am in the process of working a second edition for an e-book. How refreshing to meet someone who ‘gets’it!


  3. Uncle Tree
    March 31, 2012

    Regarding metaphors, I’m easily drawn to water, the river, and the wood.
    One of my favorite sayings comes from Lao Tze (my interpretation):
    “The Highest Good is like water. It goes to the lowliest places
    that others despise, and it has no competition.”

    St. John of The Cross used wood effectively as a teaching device.
    For the sake of confusion, Jesus spoke thus in Matthew 10:16 –
    “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves:
    be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”

    A difficult passage to swallow, but to which Uncle Tree replies –
    “It is as if we must fight fire with fire,
    without causing any harm to the wood.”


    • ontheplumtree
      March 31, 2012

      Indeed, using metaphors to describe the paradoxical nature of all things including light with its inherent shadow, is the only way we can describe The Things of God’s (noumenal reality).


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This entry was posted on March 29, 2012 by in Special Projects and tagged , , , , , , .
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