Metaphor is more than mere poetic flourish in language. It is the very way in which we construct our realities. Roger Brown argues that inasmuch as language is representative, all language is metaphorical. Lakoff and Johnson tell us that metaphors are “concepts we live by”–constructs that shape how we talk, how we understand the world around us, our attitudes, and, most importantly, how we act.

When pushed beyond everyday use, however, metaphor takes on its poetic powers, allowing us to see the the ordinary in extraordinary ways. This extraordinary view can come through different kinds of texts–verbal, visual, cinematic.

Here is Ryan Larkin’s Oscar-nominated, animated short from 1969 entitled “Walking.” Consider this as a work of metaphor. How does it work to “defamiliarize” our view of the familiar–as all good art does? Comments encouraged.