He is an origami man…

Reading time: About 1 minute

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

My husband is the tennis fan in our family. I didn’t even know the name Novak Djokovic until I read Lauren Collins’ evocative profile of the man in the New Yorker. (You can read it here, if you like.)

What I like best about the New Yorker, in fact, is the way it persuades me to read stories on subjects I otherwise have no interest in, such as tennis. Currently currently ranked world No. 2 by the Association of Tennis Professionals, Djokovic is generally considered to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time. (Who knew?)

Here was an image Collins used that impressed me:

He is an origami man, folding at the waist to dig up a drop shot, starfishing for a high forhand return, cocking his leg behind his head in an arabesque as he blasts a backhand down the line.

I like the way she turns to the world of the arts for her images. Based on the photo of Djokovic, above, I would have been inclined to compare him to one of the pliant toys, Gumby and Pokey, popular when I was a child. But Collins’ image of “origami” is far more evocative. I also appreciate the way she uses “starfish” as a verb, rather than a noun, and her comparison of tennis, to dance, with the term “arabesque.”


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