One of the most vivid and original similes I have come across is Ted Hughes’ description of the two dazzling qualities of the athletic Atalanta: her speed and her beauty.
Against such speed and such a simile, taut wrought like that powering air-borne arrow, Adonis doesn’t have a chance. You can feel the wind rush as she blasts past him, see the blurred background as she leaves him in the dust, and hear the shock wave boom of beauty knock him sideways.
Go, girl, go.
These words were still whirling in his head
As her legs blurred past him.
Though her velocity was an arrow
As from a Turkish bow of horn and sinew
The shock-wave was her beauty.
Source: Ted Hughes, ‘Venus and Adonis (and Atalanta)’, Tales from Ovid (London: Faber and Faber, 1997), p. 134
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