The figurative language of Dominique Browning…

Reading time: Less than 1 minute

I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a metaphor from Dominique Browning…

I’m not a grandmother yet and hope not to become one for at least another eight years or so (my triplets are now 22.) Because I came late to motherhood, as did my own mother and both grandmothers, I secretly hope my children will, too. That is, if they choose to have kids.

But something about the headline of a recent New York Times story pulled me in: “The Bliss of Grandmother Hormones.” It was written by Dominique Browning (pictured above), a magazine journalist who has worked as an editor at Esquire, Texas Monthly, Newsweek, and House & Garden. 

Perhaps it was my longstanding interest in hormones, cause of so much misery in my life when they forced my nightly sleeping habit to unravel. Nevertheless, I found her article to be both warm and enchanting.

Here is a particularly lovely paragraph:

But then I became a grandmother. Nothing compares to the experience of holding six pounds of newborn boy against an older, wiser, pounding heart, a heart burnished with the patina of age, a heart that bears the traces of fractures, the patchwork or plaster lathed over bad breaks. That heart suddenly, unexpectedly, floods with … hormones.

Somehow the reference to plaster and lath took me back to my own childhood home, built in the late 1940s. Browning also makes effective use of repletion. Notice how she repeats the word “heart” four times, giving her writing superb rhythm and emphasizing the central theme of her piece.