I went out with a girl called Simile, I don’t know what I metaphor. ~ Tim Vine

Aristotle believed metaphor to be the highest form of thinking. He wrote, “To be a master of metaphor is the greatest thing by far. It is the one thing that cannot be learnt from others, and it is also a sign of genius.” 

I disagree that it cannot be learnt from others. Use of Mind Maps to generate a great deal of associations can help you to devise powerful metaphors.

Tony Buzan used ‘honey’ as a metaphor for metaphors.

He said if honey is metaphor then the protein and vitamin rich secretion that is the nutrition given to the Queen Bee in the hive, Royal Jelly, represents poetry

Can you speed read poetry and literature?

“Why read poetry and literature? Because the great minds of history have left us, in them, easy stepping stones into the worlds of imagination, fantasy, ideas, philosophy, laughter and adven­ture; because by reading them you add to your own knowledge and your own historical and cultural data banks; because they are food for your soul. Literature is among the greatest expres­sions of human creativity. 

A novel is a massive conceptual achievement, and to appre­ciate it fully you need to be aware of the following aspects: plot, theme, philosophy, standpoint, character development, mood and atmosphere, setting, imagery, symbolism and use of lan­guage. Likewise, to appreciate poetry you should be aware of the different levels of meaning within any poem.

The more you understand each of these elements, the more your reading speed and comprehension will increase. If you are studying literature at school or university, these aspects are invaluable as guide-posts for analysis. These guide-post areas provide good headings in essays and examinations – and make ideal main branches for Mind Map notes.

Many people proclaim that you cannot speed read a novel, because if you do you will lose the meaning and miss the rhythm of the language. Nothing could be further from the truth. A novel can be likened to an ocean. The little waves we see lapping the shore are in fact carried on waves that are nine ordi­nary waves long. These waves are themselves carried by waves that carry nine of them, and these larger waves are similarly car­ried by waves that carry nine of them. Some waves in the ocean are miles long.

It is similar with a novel. The rhythms of language can be likened to the surface waves. The other, larger rhythms are the other, deeper elements of the novel. The speed reader can appreciate them all.” ~ Tony Buzan

Choice of speed…

Just because you can read fast, doesn’t mean you have to. Choose your speed according to the time available and whether you want to savour the metaphors and ponder deeper meanings in literature and poetry.

“In the final analysis, speed is often not a main final goal when it comes to literature and poetry – which can best be likened to listening to music or appreciating art. One does not listen to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony once and throw out the recording with the triumphant claim, ‘Well, I’ve done that at an average speed of 33 rpm!’

When reading literature and poetry, bring to bear on it all your knowledge and personal judgement, and if you feel it is the kind of writing you wish to treasure forever, forget about speeding through it and reserve it for those occasions when time is not so pressing.” ~ Tony Buzan

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