Perhaps a calming image, until you realize what it is being used to describe.  I recall my father’s recounting his childhood memories of phosphorous bombs in wartime Budapest.  Saint-Exupery paints similarly searing pictures of flying under fire as a reconnaissance pilot at the start of the war.

Each burst of a machine-gun or rapid-fire cannon shot forth hundreds of these phosphorescent bullets that followed one another like beads of a rosary.  A thousand elastic rosaries strung themselves out towards the plane, drew themselves out to the breaking point and burst at our height.

Source: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Flight to Arras, trans. by Lewis Galantière (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1961), p. 112

Photo credit: 4755994 at pixabay


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest