Stuart Dybek recalls the spark of metaphor

April 5, 2013

By: Stanzi Vaubel, UniVerse of Poetry

(Courtesy of Stuart Dybek)

Do we really understand metaphor? How much do we really engage with our world metaphorically? We all have days when a cup is just a cup, a tree is just a tree, the sky is just the sky. And yet the world through this flattened lens lacks depth and discovery, which metaphor invites. New potentials open up when disparate elements begin to correspond with one another, when we realize that opposites hold some mysterious common ground.

Writer Stuart Dybek talked with series producers Stanzi Vaubel and Rachel Webster about his discovery of metaphor and the feeling that such a discovery unleashed in him as a child. It reminds us of the spaciousness of the mind, and the way wonder can change everything.

Stuart Dybek is the author of two volumes of poetry and three works of fiction, including I Sailed with Magellen. He writes most often about his hometown of Chicago. Dybek is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation.

In celebration of National Poetry Month, WBEZ presents The Gift – produced by Stanzi Vaubel and curated by Rachel Jamison Webster, author of September: Poems. This project is a collaboration with UniVerse of Poetry, a station partner that aims to celebrate poets from every nation in the world.  Each piece drops us into a poets’ inner life, reminding us of the gift of being human among others.