Fine wrought and strong wheeled

Fine wrought and strong wheeled

I happen to love fine descriptions of things well crafted, chariots, ships, bridges, tables, pots… Particularly striking is the first of these chariot related triologisms, part of an unusual and involved metaphor for the way a man drops dead in a battle. Homer...
Newly born, oldly wise

Newly born, oldly wise

A lilting double simile here, each with a timeless simplicity.  Let’s add them to the common stock and start to describe things as being ‘old as the world’, or ‘wise as the roots of trees’.  Or you could shorten the last one to...
Moss-gloved trees

Moss-gloved trees

Years of dripping rain from these moss-soft trees, in an endlessly dank, chill climate, has tanned the leather of a cowl-cape worn by Pentecost, the gardener.  He tends the vast castle gardens with deep love and knowledge, and I liked the description of his attachment...
Mazzard

Mazzard

‘… under the mazzard orchards growing on the northern slope of the valley.’ According to the OED, mazzard is a ‘small, dark, sweet cherry of Devon origin’, the fruit or tree of a wild cherry, Prunus avium. It sounds perfect for making the...
Poplars in November

Poplars in November

Yes, poplars look like giant feathers poked in the ground, here bedraggled by the onset of winter. ‘In November the poplars were like bedraggled gull-feathers stuck in the ground.’   Source: Henry Williamson, Tarka the Otter: His joyful water-life and...
Ivy-thick holly

Ivy-thick holly

Having seen ivy rope-throttle full grown trees, it isn’t hard to imagine a holly smothered in it.  I like the crow’s ‘aa-aa’ commentary before going back to its meditations. ‘A crow awoke in an ivy-thick holly, muttered aa-aa, and laid...
Of buds and hooves

Of buds and hooves

Who would think to liken the shape of a bud to the hooves of cattle? And that cuckoo singing all night! ‘The buds of the ash, sullen for so long in their coverings shaped like the black hooves of cattle, broke into browny-green sprays.  The cuckoo sang all...
Thickly-foliaged cedar

Thickly-foliaged cedar

Another reference to the magnficent cedar, a source of scented sap and sunset-watching shelter. ‘The day grew dim. They lay down under a thickly-foliaged cedar and watched the sunset.’   Source: Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation, trans. P.A. Bien...
Tear-shaped pellets

Tear-shaped pellets

This is a Biblical land and so perhaps the tear-shaped scented cedar sap pellets came from Lebanon.  Elsewhere the cedar provides a sheltering spot to watch the sunset. ‘The sexton threw tear-shaped pellets of cedar sap into the censer to deodorize the...

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