Monday, September 26, 2011

My head has been spinning with similes, metaphors and robust descriptors this past week. Autumn is upon us and with the change of season we are reminded of the seasons of our lives, of death and renewal, of Mother Nature's power and glory.

And we were at the beach last week where we were reminded of the rising and falling of the tide, the pull of the moon, the shifting sand.

Fresh and unusual descriptions give familiar images new meaning, just as similes and metaphors connect images with our experience in unique ways. I've come across a few that I really like lately, lines that leave me wondering, "Why didn't I think of that?":

--...sleep was a mirage, a wavy blue line in the desert that you never actually got to
--...crushed by the heavy mantle of his expectations
--...the snow, a gorgeous sea of sugar-ice
--...stories stacked up like dinner napkins
--...the great lumbering guilt
--...clinging onto this life like a squirrel scrambling up the icy pitch of a roof
--...the sound of a person trying to wrestle an enormous sorrow to the ground. act akin to pulling a full grown sheep from a top hat
--...sleep was like a bean he managed to balance for a moment on the tip of his nose
--...her heart stuttered with joy and relief

These are just a few examples taken from my current reading list. And here are a couple from my own work: mother is the patron saint of mortifcation, exoneration, and reconciliation all rolled up in one
--...the grass underfoot was as brittle and brown as rusty Brillo
--...he reaches over and sweeps away the last thread of hope that hangs between everything I have taken for granted over the years and what lies ahead
--...pulling her IV stand along behind her like a two-year old, "Come along now. It's time to go potty."
--...the western horizon was swathed in cotton candy

Have you come across any memorable examples lately? Have you come up with any yourself? I'd love to hear them.
"Every time a child says,
'I don't believe in fairies,'
there's a fairy somewhere that falls down dead."
--Sir James M. Barrie--
 In my next post I plan to expound on this saying:
"Do what you like.
Like what you do."
--Life Is Good--


  1. I can't help thinking the same thing about your that you're thinking about the examples you found. Why didn't I say that?
    I have a journal where I jot down phrases like that.

  2. Your lines are lovely. And the others are also quite good. There's nothing more striking that a well-phrased metaphor.

    Tossing It Out

  3. I love an original simile or metaphor. There was one from Never Change by Elizabeth Berg that compared the MC shedding her clothes and leaving them alongside the bath to strew seashells (certainly a departure from the direct quote). But I loved it when I read it.

  4. Susan, Arlee, and Susan--Elizabeth Berg, Anne Lamott, and Ann Patchett are a few of my favorites when it comes to metaphors.