Petunia-coloured horn

Petunia-coloured horn

I liked this description of an old-fashioned gramophone loud speaker, which I associate with the image of a Jack Russell sitting next to, listening to ‘His Master’s Voice’.  However, since petunias come in a rainbow of colours, I am wondering what...
Many-coloured shield

Many-coloured shield

A rich description of 17th century London, this appears to refer to Westminster Abbey, with lights brightly burning inside. ‘Now the Abbey windows were lit up and burnt like a heavenly, many-coloured shield (in Orlando’s fancy).’ Source: Virginia...
Eyes like …

Eyes like …

I have never seen violet eyes, though I have a recollection of someone describing Elizabeth Taylor’s as being of this colour.  But ‘drenched violets’, how enchanting those must be! See also Woolf’s description of Orlando’s lover’s...
An ocean of colours

An ocean of colours

Not a sight you’d expect to see on the steppes: a tulip-filled expanse.  Never would I have associated this beautiful but relatively domesticated flower with a wild place of spontaneous blooming. ‘And the steppe has its own riches.  In spring the young...
The taste of colour

The taste of colour

This is one of two metaphors I found in Hoban’s book which mix two senses.  Here visual overload leaves a sugary taste in the eye, while elsewhere he refers to sounds like the smell of old cooking. ‘Too much colour, leaving a taste of marzipan in the...
Silver-plated water

Silver-plated water

I have seen beaten-bronze and copper-coloured water, but never silver-plated. ‘The cool, placid, silver-plated water at even coolly awaits the frost.’ 16 Oct 1859 Source: Henry David Thoreau, The Journal 1837-1861, Damion Searls (ed.), preface by John R....
Glaucous-green field

Glaucous-green field

I found myself wondering just what shade of green is glaucous, and learning that it is either ‘a dull greyish-green or blue’, or a ‘pale greyish or bluish’ and also refers to being covered in a powdery bloom as on grapes.  A fine alliterative...
Slate-colored snowbirds

Slate-colored snowbirds

Firstly, I like the idea of a ‘snow’ bird being the colour of slate.  And being obsessed with colours and the names we give them, I notice how many hues and shades can only be described in reference to something of that colour.  Elsewhere Thoreau describes...
As blue and as vague as …

As blue and as vague as …

A beautiful image, blueness and vagueness likened to ‘unmapped lakes’, and these, referring to eyes, being misted over with the (over) consumption of plum-brandy.  And those ‘tundra-blank’ faces! ‘Swamp-and-conifer men they looked, with...

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