The figurative language of Rachel Syme….

Reading time: Just over 1 minute

I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about metaphors and similes from Rachel Syme…

I haven’t yet seen any of the four versions of the movie A Star Is Born, but the buzz surrounding the latest interation, starring Lady Gaga (pictured above with co-star Bradley Cooper), has me ready to line up at the theatre.

I became even more interested after reading Rachel Syme‘s figurative-language-laden story in the Oct. 3 issue of the New York Times Magazine, running under the headline, “The Shape-Shifter.

Here are my favourite examples of Syme’s graceful and clever writing:

  • Lady Gaga did not so much arrive at the Venice Film Festival this August as she floated into it, a platinum Aphrodite borne on the waves, black stilettos skimming the sea foam. Which is to say, she took a water taxi.
  • Her hair [was] shaped into three victory rolls like a crown of croissants.
  • Lady Gaga is our pop laureate of the grand entrance, our patron saint of operatic ingress.
  • Gaga once described herself as “a show with no intermission,” but it might be more accurate to view her career as a glorious series of overtures; her curtain is always rising.
  • Her lips were matte red, slightly overdrawn, an enthusiastic valentine.
  • Her earrings, obsidian chandelier dangles [sic] heavy as hood ornaments, cast prismatic shadows on her clavicle and seemed to threaten the general integrity of her otherwise regal posture.
  • She spoke carefully, in a breathy tone, as if she were in an active séance with an old movie star whose press agent advised her to remain enigmatic and demure.
  • She kept her legs crossed at the ankles and her spine rod-straight, with her shell-pink nails gingerly intertwined in her lap, as if she were practicing to meet Queen Elizabeth.
  • But Gaga adds something of her own: a sensual, earthy confidence, like gasoline in her veins.