The Edge of the Metaphor includes mainly the poets, who through poetic symbols (The French poets are leaders in such type of poetry), visionary trances and metaphors are successful in confronting the inner and external realities. These poets reveal that poetry is more than common metaphor and analogies, and their poems reach deeper. We will not find in The Edge of the Metaphor poems, which are full of monotonous dreams and vague fancies. Here are some extraordinary compositions revealing the bitter truth and realities of the new millennium.
Dryden (1631-1700) pointed out: "There may be too great a likeness, as the most skilful painters affirm, that there may be too near a resemblance in a picture; to take every lineament and feature, is not to make an excellent piece; but to heighten the beauties of some part, and hide the deformities of the rest.the employment of a poet is like that of a curious gunsmith, or watchmaker; the iron or silver is not his own, but they are the least part of that which gives the value; the price lies wholly in the workmanship." This wise observation by one of the greatest English critics proves that a wise use of metaphor and 'workmanship' is indispensable for writing great poems.
Pound had recognized the significance of new inventive language and forms:
It was you who broke the new wood.
Now is a time for carving.
We have one sap and one root.
'The Pact', Lustra (1915)
After 1950, a new generation of poets in America created a new system of ideas in innovative style, which was quite different from the works of Williams, Stevens, Robert Lowell, Roethke and Sylvia Plath. Some of these poets are Olson, Duncan,Creeley, Oppenheimer, Jonathan Williams, William Everson, Jack Spicer, Ferlinghetti, Ginsberg, John Ashberry, Barbara Guest, Snyder, etc. Moreover, we see a number of great women poets in USA. This is quite evident after perusing The World Split Open (1974), edited by Louise Bernikow. The following lines convey the universal truth:
What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open. -Muriel Rukeyser, The Collected Poems (1979).
The poets selected for The Edge of the Metaphor compel our admiration, because instead of employing the conventional poetic style these artists write in the language of common speech, a subtle style showing the exact words, and discarding ornamental phraseology. The use of the 'spoken word' provides a significant edge to image and metaphor. "In literature, partly from the lack of that spoken word which knits us to the normal man, we have lost in personality, in our delight in the whole man-blood, imagination, intellect, running together" (W. B. Yeats).