Finding personification in the grief of others

Word count: 237 words

Reading time: Less than 1 minute

I read widely, watch movies and listen to the radio. Here, catch an interesting piece of figurative language I’ve encountered recently in the novel The Grief of Others.

It took writing this blog to teach me something important about myself. Every Thursday I produce a little meditation on a piece of figurative language I’ve read or heard. Recently, I’ve been struck by how often my eye is drawn towards personification.

Take, for example, the marvellous novel, The Grief of Others by Leah Hager Cohen. Here’s a sentence that caught my eye:

The air was astringent after the rain and thin-feeling, as if it had just been pruned. 

I really like the word astringent — it’s so snappy with its clipped short “i” sound and the sharp closing “t.” I practically smell lemons in the air when I hear it. But more than that, I love the image of a cosmic gardener, pruning the air. Have you ever experienced air so thin it felt pruned? I have, although it would never have occurred to me to use that term.

And if you’re looking for a well written novel, pick up The Grief of Others. Here’s what the New York Times had to say about it.

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