More Metaphors, Creativity, and thank goodness for Einstein's Honesty

I’m fairly certain that any valuable artistic work or insightful idea I’ve ever come up with is the result of understanding one thing—sometimes naively, sometimes intentionally—in terms of another. It is as if conceptual metaphors are the basis of (all?) creativity (if creativity is defined as being the construction of original ideas that are of value—at least, this is Ken Robinson‘s definition of creativity).

The work of a poet most clearly articulates this concept, as words, when used to refer to particulars, most conspicuously demonstrate instances where one concept is understood in terms of another.

“The sunset bled.” “Knives in my heart.” “The tusks of the tree.”

More subtle examples include:

“Pouring smoke.” “A breakfast cult.” “Words of poison”

And, as promised, here is Einstein:

“My intellectual development was retarded, as a result of which I began to wonder about space and time only when I had already grown up.”    —Albert Einstein



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