Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Metaphorical Headline; Sonnet-Challenge

Before I forget, let me point out that "Minerva" has a sonnet-challenge going this week, in case you're in a 14-line mood:

Now, on to a headline from The Commercial Appeal, a daily newspaper in Memphis:

"Mayoral Morass Sinks Deeper Into Confusion" (Wed. July 8, 2009, page one).

As with the governor of Alaska, the Mayor of Memphis, Willie Herenton, is a bit unsure not about resigning but about when he's resigning, and the confusion is causing all sorts of political and bureaucratic problems. --Also opportunities: The legendary wrestler (or "wrassler") Jerry Lawler (Andy Kaufman wrestled him--remember?) is going to run in the special election, when and if it takes place.

At any rate, the headline troubled me slightly, with regard to the metaphor. I suppose a morass--or "swampy tract," as the OED online defines it--can sink, insofar as all pieces of land, including soaked ones, have the potential to sink. But maybe the headline-writer (as opposed to the story's writers, Amos Maki and Alex Donlach) was thinking that the situation Herenton has created is sinking into a morass of confusion; or maybe that the mayor's office and the city council are sinking into a morass. But I don't think the morass is meant to be sinking.

Anyway, I enjoyed the story and the swamp of my thinking about this metaphor....I reckon "headline" itself is a metaphor--the top of a newspaper-story or -column (for example) being compared to the head, and thus the need for "capitalization." A capital idea!

Good luck with your sonnet.
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