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...
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...
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...
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...
A dam snake

A dam snake

Infrastructure likened to a curling serpent, whereas most serpentine similes I’ve seen have been speed-related.  See Tarka the Otter, Christopher Logue’s War Music and Mervyn Peake’s Titus Groan…. the great grey dam curled up in the sun like a...
As ancient as …

As ancient as …

As a simile for ‘ancient’ you could use a range of places and races, but here the intoning of the prayer makes ‘Jewish’ particularly appropriate.  In other contexts, we could say as ancient as China; as ancient as Babylon; as ancient as a...
As puny as …

As puny as …

An ideologically committed army officer expects her child to be born robust and struggle-ready, and is disappointed by his neo-natal vulnerability and apparent weediness.  She soon abandons him to the care of the poor family who provided her with a room in which to...
Like fluid sculptures

Like fluid sculptures

A fine idea to describe a flotilla of sail boats, as liquid sculptures, and note too that passing flock of egrets whose appearance is likened to a ripple of applause. On the river egrets break upon the skyline in a blinding ripple of applause, disturbed by a flotilla...
Sitting pigeons

Sitting pigeons

You can see these pigeons plumply decorating the trees – we have wood pigeons who bill and coo in the branches, and indeed, they bring a soothing sense of fattened plenty with them. The pigeons were sitting in the trees like fattened Christmas...
As an apple fits a dumpling

As an apple fits a dumpling

A beautiful simile for something fitting perfectly into a circular space.  In this case, the something is a someone, the marvelous Mij, an otter celebrated by Gavin Maxwell. Mij mastered taps and baths, and it was hard to keep him away from them.  Mij had an instant...
Late for school

Late for school

A delightful simile for a late-landing spring, that of a boy running to school.   It also reminds me of another description of a delayed spring bounding in.  It was the end of April, and the belated spring was flushed and warm, like a youngster who has run all the way...
Amber-eyed glow

Amber-eyed glow

What a beautiful pair of eyes this young man must have had, like amber with the sun treacle-gold behind.  See another example of amber glow. The young Greek’s eyes glowed like lumps of amber with the sun behind them.  Source: Louis Golding, Good-bye to Ithaca...
Phone like fungi

Phone like fungi

Somehow this simile only works with the kind of phone Golding is describing, from the 1950s.  It doesn’t quite ring true with today flat-packed smarty-phones. But there certainly was a small area at the far end of the building devoted to clerical activities,...

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