Metaphor and Gestalt: Interaction theory revisited

J. Glicksohn, C. Goodblatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper discusses the relationship between the Interaction theory of metaphor and Gestalt psychology. Interaction theory views the metaphor as a whole (gestalt), created by an interaction between its primary and secondary subjects. Moreover, this paper develops Interaction theory to require a full contextual analysis of the poetic metaphor embedded within its poetic text. We illustrate this Gestalt-Interaction approach by focusing on a particularly complex poetic text having multiple metaphors (Dylan Thomas's Sonnet VII, from his "Altarwise by Owl-Light" sequence). A representation employing primary semantic fields clarifies the underlying structure of the metaphor chain comprising the text.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)83-97
JournalPoetics Today
StatePublished - 1993


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