As noiselessly as …

As noiselessly as …

How many ways to describe quiet? This is one of the most original I have found, along with another describing the silent movement of mist itself and one conveying the lethal approach of an owl. ‘They then descended the staircase almost as noiselessly as a bright...
Of billows and surges

Of billows and surges

A finely tumultuous image for turbulent and mixed emotions. ‘Till morning dawned I was tossed on the buoyant but unquiet sea, where billows of trouble rolled under surges of joy.’   Source: Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre (London: Bounty Books, 2012 (1847)),...
The fore- and after-taste of vengeance

The fore- and after-taste of vengeance

A heady metaphor for the taste of vengeance, followed by the bitter aftertaste. It reminds me of a quotation by Nelson Mandela along the lines that resentment poisons you before it kills your enemy. ‘Something of vengeance I had tasted for the first time; as...
Equal parts hard and very hard

Equal parts hard and very hard

The appropriately named housekeeper at Jane Eyre’s orphanage has qualities the patron of the establishment values. He believes – firmly – that little tikes living on charity need to be regularly reminded how lucky they are to have a crust to eat....
Of globs and blubber

Of globs and blubber

This charming image – of a priest no less – had me searching all kinds of strange photos to illustrate it.  The deep fat fryer won the day. ‘He was so fat that globs of blubber formed cocoons around his eyes.’   Source: Nikos Kazantzakis, The...
As big as …

As big as …

A vivid way to vaunt the vastness of vine-fruit. ‘The grapes seemed as big as twelve-year old boys.’   Source: Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation, trans. P.A. Bien (London: Faber and Faber, 1983), p. 502 Photo credit: Free-Photos at...
As vindictive as…

As vindictive as…

Apologies to all camels if this sullies your good character, but I liked the simile and had fun finding a photo of a camel who might be described as having a vindictive look. ‘… vindictive as a camel.’   Source: Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last...
Of smoke and goats

Of smoke and goats

A refreshing image for a choking smoke.  I tried to find a picture of goats who looked as though smoke might be getting up their nose. ‘The smoke was so thick that the goats sneezed seven miles away.’   Source: Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation,...
All the doors of Israel

All the doors of Israel

It’s now a month since I read this book and I still have a burning impression of dazzling light and heat. Here the sun is stalking the Israelites like a lion. The sun came out of the desert like a lion and beat at all the doors of Israel.  See also his desert...

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