Parrot-bright shrillness

Parrot-bright shrillness

A lovely mix of visual and aural, with the shrillness of light and colour also evoking a parrot’s cry.  We landed in the usual parrot-bright shrillness of light and colour. Source: Louis Golding, Good-bye to Ithaca (London: Hutchinson, 1955), p....
As softly as …

As softly as …

What a place, what a time, the two idyllic years Durrell spent in Rhodes after the war.  His account is full of lyrical descriptions of scenes and sounds, and what could be more enchanting than having your days drop in as he describes. In Rhodes the days drop as...
Intimations of radiance

Intimations of radiance

Listening time: 3 minutes.An intricate description of the effect an ancient temple can work on the spirit – a falling away of complication and anxiety and a spilling over of clarity and hope.  I had such a feeling when a handful of us were allowed to roam...
Marrow-meltingly sweet

Marrow-meltingly sweet

Wish you as many doses of such sweetness as you need.  And what a stark contrast to another marrow-related triologism, from Jane Eyre. How sweet it all was, marrow-meltingly sweet!  Source: Louis Golding, Good-bye to Ithaca (London: Hutchinson, 1955), p....
The past as precious

The past as precious

The opening lines of a less well known novel, Mary Webb’s engaging Precious Bane.  She opens her foreword with a defence of the mute and invisible past before telling the story as a recollection by the protagonist. The past is only the present become invisible...
Ink-blue water

Ink-blue water

As the logos on this website testify, I’m an ink-geek, and love inky similes.  Here is another one, about the sky rather than the sea.  A small breeze sent up a flurry over all the ink-blue water. Source: Louis Golding, Good-bye to Ithaca (London: Hutchinson,...
As fabulous as …

As fabulous as …

A marvelously original simile for ‘fabulous’, found in this slim, exquisitely written book by Saint-Exupery.  Something resonant in that phrase, the ‘immensity of the sea’, particularly as a description of expanding a boy’s mind through...
Fine feline quotes

Fine feline quotes

Adding another in our series of themed selections, we have purrduced a page of illustrated quotations celebrating cats.  We will add more as they turn up in our reading.And if you missed earlier themes, so far we have one dedicated to dogs, and another launched on...
And I shall teach the boy

And I shall teach the boy

Listening time: under 4 minutes.The Countess of Gormenghast ponders her personal curriculum for her newborn son Titus, soon after despatching him to a régime of nanny-care for the first five years of his life.  She clearly has higher hopes for him than for his...
Hare-bell sea

Hare-bell sea

A lyrical description of the Greek island of Thera, bursting with flowers and trees, and all sloping down to a soft lilac-tinged blue sea. But there is a delicate order, too, imposed by tracery of asphodel and grape-hyacinth, purple mallow and coppery dandelion, by...
Canine collection of quotes

Canine collection of quotes

To celebrate man’s best friend, what better than to give them their very own dedicated page on International Dog Day?  Doglighted to bring you a choice selection of quotations about this wonderful creature – please do visit and enjoy descriptions of superb...
Brandy-ball eyes

Brandy-ball eyes

I like the ‘brandy-ball’ amber of this clever chap’s gaze, and his space-butting arrangements.  Enjoy another rather original description of a goat’s eyes, this one by Gavin Maxwell, or yet another, by Russell Hoban.  Do brandy-balls still...
A private anthology

A private anthology

Although this is a public domain website, it is also a ‘private anthology’, and wonderful will be the day when I have committed to memory more than a handful of its treasures.  These notes and quotes concerning learning things by heart are the ground...
Meet the Barone

Meet the Barone

Listening time: under 4 minutes. Casting back across the sweep of history, there is only a handful of creatures, human and otherwise, whom I regret not being able to meet, pending the perfection of the time travel machine I’m building in the (mental) shed.  Of...

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