I felt like a cellophane wrapper…

Word count: 196 words

Reading time: Less than 1 minute

I read widely, watch movies and listen to the radio. In today’s post you’ll see an interesting piece of figurative language from Joni Mitchell I’ve encountered recently.

I still haven’t read any of Zadie Smith’s popular books, such as White Teeth, On Beauty or The Autograph Manalthough I’ve had friends recommend them.

But recently, I read an essay she wrote in the Dec 17/12 New Yorker. It’s a paean to Joni Mitchell and I found it amusing for Smith to reveal that she started off not liking Mitchell’s music. (As an aside: How is that even possible?)

But what I liked best about the piece is that it quoted a memorable simile created by Mitchell herself. Here’s what she said:

At that period of my life, I had no personal defences. I felt like a cellophane wrapper on a pack of cigarettes.

Doesn’t that just capture self-worthlessness? Cellophane is both clingy and transparent. Worse, it hides an utterly irredeemable product, cigarettes. Smith doesn’t reveal where Mitchell made this comment but it made me an even bigger fan of Joni Mitchell than I already was.

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