You know those times when you see something and it seems to represent far more than what you are looking at? What I am getting at are those times when your feelings just feel all that is right and good about the world.
The way the branch on the medlar tree looked almost like a swing seat with the blackbird on it made me think that way.
I couldn’t remember the word that represents what I meant, so I googled ‘what is the word that means something described by a part of it‘ and Google found it straight away. Clever Google.
A synecdoche comes from the Greek meaning ‘simultaneous understanding’.
Google voice pronounces it ‘suh·nek·duh·kee’ – with the stress on ‘nek’.
It is a figure of speech in which a part of something refers to the whole of something or vice versa.
The website Literary Devices gives the example of “all hands on deck” which means that all of the crew should come and help, and not just their hands.
Metonymy (which is pronounced pretty much as you would expect) is a freer association between the part and the whole. Literary Devices gives the example of ‘the crown’ to refer to royalty. ‘The crown’ cannot be an example of synecdoche because crowns are not part of the royal person except in a symbolic sense.
The Blackbird in the Medlar Tree
Was it synecdoche or metonymy that described what I was feeling? I was thinking how fitting it was that the medlar grew that way and the blackbird discovered it and liked it as a place to sing. I was thinking about Nature (with a capital N) and how it just all gels together. And I was thinking about the precious feeling of all that is in balance and radiant.