Sun-splashy ripples

Sun-splashy ripples

You can feel the warmth of a summer day with diaphanous wings darting over glittering ripples. ‘She heard the rustling clicks of dragon-flies’ wings over the sun-splashy ripples.’   Source: Henry Williamson, Tarka the Otter: His joyful water-life and...
Dimmit dimmity

Dimmit dimmity

An English south-west dialect word for dusk or twilight, hinted at in the opening ‘dim…’. ‘At dimmity it flew down the right bank of the river …’ ‘At dimmit light …’ Not to be confused with ‘dimity’, a...
Ammil

Ammil

This wondrous word, describing a complex and ethereal effect of light, is mercifully preserved for posterity by Williamson. It doesn’t yet appear in the 600,000 word-hoard of the OED. May you enjoy many magical Ammil mornings. ‘When the sun, like an...
Varied like an ocean floor

Varied like an ocean floor

And the more we learn about the ocean floor, the better it seems as a metaphor for variety.  Curious to think of Virginia Woolf using this since so much less was known of ocean floors in her lifetime and they didn’t have the incredible underwater images we now...
Genius as lighthouse beams

Genius as lighthouse beams

An interesting metaphor to describe the haphazard workings of genius, appearing like a beam illuminating the surrounding darkness at intervals, but without the pulsing regularity of the lighthouse.  And in between their dazzling flashes, the genius withdraws into...
Million-candled tree

Million-candled tree

This is Sasha’s description of her glittering English aristocratic lover, but she doesn’t seem particularly dazzled by his brightness.  He appears to be burning up even as she is cooling down, and her attraction to him has something measured and even...
Heat as strong as a curse

Heat as strong as a curse

Leigh Fermor finds many ways to convey the unforgiving heat and light of the sun in the Mani, so strong as to feel like a curse more than a blessing. ‘The sun beat down like a curse.’ Source: Patrick Leigh Fermor, Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese,...
Dungeon-like gloom

Dungeon-like gloom

This gloom was no doubt accentuated by the blinding brilliance outside, and may even have been a soothing balm to the exhausted eye.  You think air is clear until you see such shafts of mote-whirling light. ‘Our interruption had set the dust moving and a thin...
Lamps like eyes

Lamps like eyes

A blinding opaqueness conveys the idea of these globular lamps.  Later on, Hoban likens other street lamps to ‘luminous fruits bursting with knowledge’. ‘The globes of the lamps were like great blind eyes.’ Source: Russell Hoban, The Lion of...

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