Of sound and silence

Of sound and silence

A startling description of silence, likened to emulsified sound. Silence, after all, is only sound in emulsion. See two other similes for silence, both from Henry Williamson’s Tarka the Otter, each relating to owls, but one chilling and one gentle. And please...
Perfect teeth

Perfect teeth

Something simply pearl-fect about these teeth, and a neat simile to describe the darting in and out of an endlessly worked toothpick. … the seed-pearl teeth, where a tooth-pick ran ceaselessly in and out, in and back again, like a mouse in a cage. Source: Louis...
Rising and falling like …

Rising and falling like …

A description of Lindos which charmed me as much for its sea-cleaned pebble paving as for its simile for undulating streets.The narrow streets which rise and fall like music are paved with clean sea-pebbles.See our bestellar love letter to this slim classic of travel...
Sea-raddled limestone

Sea-raddled limestone

Unusual word and usage, ‘raddled’, and particularly as a simile for hard, grey, hole-riddled bread. God protect one’s teeth. Some went on nibbling at lumps of bread hard and grey like sea-raddled limestone. Source: Louis Golding, Good-bye to Ithaca...
On seeing and sensing

On seeing and sensing

Durrell seems to be seeking a subtle way to convey the perception of a view, before suddenly landing a pin-hole camera lens as the right image. But it was not a view that one ‘saw’ in the strict sense; it radiated over one, dancing in that brown heat,...
A fine wine

A fine wine

What a wonderful scene, a simple lunch washed down with a local wine the colour of molten amber, and intriguingly, ‘pumice-bedded’.  Savour another such moment, celebrated by Zorba the Joyous. Then we stepped out to a terrace hung out over the blue chasm,...
Of speed and stillness

Of speed and stillness

A beautiful evocation of swiftness resembling stillness, of things moving so fast that they seem stationary.And all this great universe that seems so still is but like a spinning top, that looks still from very swiftness. Source: Mary Webb, Precious Bane...
Sea-drenched wind

Sea-drenched wind

I re-discover this triologism as we emerge from days of rain-drenched wind, waking up to a lush-verdant garden and landscape.   I also like the ‘lopped-off wave-tops’. But the air was almost as full of sea-drenched wind and lopped-off wave-tops as it had...
As cold as …

As cold as …

A cool simile for coldness, since jelly by its nature needs to be kept so.  See also a superb maritime simile by Keats to convey the same temperatures.  Below us the sea sat perfectly still, cold as jelly.Enjoy our bestellar love letter to this slim classic of travel...
A laughing owl

A laughing owl

No idea if owls laugh, but I like this phrase.  Next time someone says something too daft to credit, feel free to deploy it.It was enough to make an owl laugh. Source: Mary Webb, Precious Bane (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1981), p. 98Photo credit: MiRUTH_de at...
Questions like skewers

Questions like skewers

A fun way to comment on someone asking a lot of questions, likening them to an attorney sticking interrogative skewers into defendents. ‘I’m thinking you were an attorney once,’ he says, ‘and stuck questions into poor men like skewers before...
Hangover face

Hangover face

Wonderful way to describe the face of a hungover man, though no doubt he felt every bit as bad as he looked, straining under the weight of a pounding headache.  The waste of time was considered deplorable, and the naval lieutenant whose permanent hangover has given...
Of great men and kindness

Of great men and kindness

An interesting take on greatness as an obstacle to kindness, since kindness requires swerving from your path.  Something to think about with our sometimes obsessive focus on focus and purpose and being ‘results-oriented’.  And if it prevents taking time...
First encounter

First encounter

A first meeting between lovers comes less as an encounter with a stranger than a recognition of someone you’ve been waiting for. And just as we were singing that, and the wheels going like churn-owls, there was a quick footfall without, and a rush of fresh air,...

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