Fresh Voices: Composition at Cal Poly


Using metaphors in his essay, “A Writer Before and After,” Colin Whaley composes a history of his experiences as a writer. His transformations become stuffy sweaters, math problems, and a mess of ropes. He finds himself “stuffed” into a “claustrophobic” way of writing throughout high school, and yet also recalls freer moments in his earlier writing. Ultimately, his focus lies in his inability to decipher or define good writing: Is it merely concision, a methodical

equation with only one right answer, or is it creativity and beauty, never a wrong path to a final product?

Even in this short piece, Whaley uses imagery in the form of metaphor. How does his method allow the reader to “see” the abstract images he communicates?

In what ways could he have expanded or clarified his metaphors?