Of beetle fragments and spider tunnels

Of beetle fragments and spider tunnels

What an intricate way to describe a shipwreck pulled apart by tidal ebb and flow. It also reminds me of the novel by Italo Calvino, The Path to the Spiders’ Nests, which describes small grassy gates woven by spiders – see insert. ‘… a destroyer...
Of pebble-play and glass-green

Of pebble-play and glass-green

A lasting impression of Tarka the Otter is of the playfulness of these and other creatures. Tarka plays with anything to hand or paw: a water spout, a pebble, a dung-ball, a cocoa can. Here he is intrigued by a water-smoothed glass pebble, and Williamson uses a liquid...
Bright and blinking

Bright and blinking

An alliterative description of a bone-like beacon. ‘The bright eye of the light-house standing like a bleached bone at the edge of the sandhills, blinked in the clear air.’   Source: Henry Williamson, Tarka the Otter: His joyful water-life and death in the...
Poplars in November

Poplars in November

Yes, poplars look like giant feathers poked in the ground, here bedraggled by the onset of winter. ‘In November the poplars were like bedraggled gull-feathers stuck in the ground.’   Source: Henry Williamson, Tarka the Otter: His joyful water-life and...
As smooth as …

As smooth as …

Of course, this simile is obvious when you see it, but have you ever seen it before?  Please try incorporating it into your simile-store. ‘Over fall he slid, smooth as oil.’   Source: Henry Williamson, Tarka the Otter: His joyful water-life and death in...
Scent as colour

Scent as colour

I like metaphors that use one of our five senses to convey another – here a visual image serves as a metaphor for a scent. And I must still be a child as vivid colours catch my attention more than ever. ‘The scents of the ducks were thick and luring as...
A luminous grub

A luminous grub

Never have I seen the moon likened to a luminous cocoon-spinning grub… wonderful. ‘At night the young moon was like a luminous grub spinning a cocoon around itself in the sky.’   Source: Henry Williamson, Tarka the Otter: His joyful water-life and...
Of curling waves

Of curling waves

Tarka the otter enjoys his first exposure to the sea, with a wave being likened appropriately to a shell-fish. ‘A wavelet lifted Tarka and passed behind him, another curled like a long razor-fish shell and broke over him. He shook the water from his whiskers,...
As serene as …

As serene as …

A novel image for serenity. Use it next time you are describing someone or something serene. ‘He was serene as glass.’   Source: Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre (London: Bounty Books, 2012 (1847)), p. 518 Photo credit: MichaelGaida at...

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