Life is Like a River: River as Metaphor
"Perhaps one of the reasons why people have been drawn to rivers since time immemorial and why they have regarded them as sacred is because they are the perfect metaphor for our lives." --From Keith Harrison, Minneapolis Star Tribune, July 1995.
Discuss the meaning of metaphor and begin to explore the metaphor "life is like a river."
"You can never step into the same river twice." -Heraclitus
Have students first write and then discuss their ideas as to what they think Heraclitus meant by this quotation. With your interpretation in mind, do you agree or disagree with him? State your reasoning.
Thinking about the metaphor of " life as a river," can the same be said about a person's life? You can never step into the same life twice? In which ways do you agree and in which ways do you disagree?
"Poetry is a section of river-fog and moving boat - lights, delivered between bridges and whistles, so one says, 'Oh!,' and another, 'How?'" --Carl Sandburg
Have students create a poem or poems prompted by something discussed in this activity. Create a river or water abstraction to serve as the background on which to write the poem/free writing/commentary. Some ideas:
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