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Happy Thursday, poets, and happy Ascension day for all. The prompt today is about opposites.

In April I wrote a number of sonnets that where connected. One of those I linked up at OLN. In that sonnet, which was a passionate love poem there was a line that said:

You are the sudden storm and gentle rain

that received many comments. Especially a comment from Claudia resonated with me, where she said that she liked contrasts, and not an even canvas, and I thought we would try this device. When I wrote it I wanted to describe passion, which to me consists of many contrasting emotions. We need the cold to feel the warmth, and where would light be without the darkness. The world is neither tepid nor grey, we are caught in a whirl-storm of ambivalence between opposite emotions. So when I started to search the internet for what this might be called as a literary device I came upon the term antithesis which when used as a literary or poetic tool is defined as: “a rhetorical device in which two opposite ideas are put together in a sentence to achieve a contrasting effect”.

Examples that can be found are both from prose and poetry. Consider for example this example from Dickens’ “The tale of two cities”:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”

This piece is just loaded with contrasts, and somehow I feel that this is much closer to reality than to try to find that exact point between best and worst or between wisdom and foolishness. The world is not fifty shades of grey but both black and white at the same time, like a photograph is built up of black grains of black silver on the white paper, and only if we don’t look close enough it appears grey.

David and Goliath by Odilon Redon

David and Goliath by Odilon Redon

The concept of yin and yang also comes to mind, but there the opposites or rather complementary parts, where actually completeness is achieved by antithesis.

So today I would like you to include a few examples of opposite terms to get preciseness or ambiguity, or you can use it to build metaphors. Try to find original or even complex opposites that involve many senses. There are no requirement on form here. One way of doing this is to start list a couple of opposites, and expand your poem from that, but you decide yourself.

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