Cliche's That Work

August 21, 2019

 Some days I operate mostly on autopilot.  

 

If I'm still tired from a poor night's sleep, or I have something on my mind, autopilot works fine. 

 

That's what a cliche' is to me, an autopilot, but the experts insist that a writer shouldn't use them. 

They insist that when we use cliches our readers go into autopilot. 

 

Personally I like to use snippets of other people's thoughts. One favorite is, 'The time has come,' the Walrus said, To talk of many things:Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax — Of cabbages — and kings —And why the sea is boiling hot — And whether pigs have wings.''

 

I sometimes repeat that more than once just for emphasis. Copied from "Poetry Foundation,"

 https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43914/the-walrus-and-the-carpenter-56d222cbc80a9

 

I like this one from Hamlet, but I don't use the whole thing at once, only pieces that fit the moment. I begin at: 'To Be or Not To Be, that is the question', and meander into 'To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks 
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation 
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, 
Hamlet (3.1.64-98)

 

And if you read the original text from Hamlet you will notice that I cut it up (as only a poor memory can) and cobble it back together. Here is a link to the entire version from poetry foundation (on Hamlet this time)

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/56965/speech-to-be-or-not-to-be-that-is-the-question

 

Shakespeare's—"What's in a name? That which we 

call a rose, by any other name would smell as 

sweet."  is a favorite for quoting. Though I think of Anne of Green Gables after that quote, when Anne says,'I don't know if it were called a skunk cabbage if it would smell the same...'

 

Funny thoughts. Would a 'rose' smell the same if we called it a skunk cabbage? Words and words are all I have...

 

Psalms 33:18  "Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; 19)  To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. 20)  Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield." 
 

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