Sunday, April 26, 2015

“Great Living Blizzard”; “Seismograph on Society”; “An Aladdin’s Cave of..”--Visual, Evocative Expression to Emphasize Something

Here are some recent examples of articulate people using a vivid, evocative expression while emphasizing something and thus making their assertion indelible--examples which, I hope, will inspire the rest of us into similarly imaginative use of the language, especially when we are trying to break through the clutter. 

  • Describing his “near religious experience” on a mountaintop in Central Mexico, National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore telling CBS “Sunday Morning,” “I arrived before dawn on a rented mule and there, standing silently in the mist, were ancient fir trees so laden with monarch butterflies that their bows literally bent under the weight. When the sun came up, millions of brilliant orange spots burst from the trees, rising and falling and swirling around me like a great living blizzard.”
  • As expected, the recent death of Noble Prize winning author Guenter Grass generated a torrent of tributes from prominent Germans. That nation’s president spoke about Grass having “moved, enthralled, and made the people of our country think with his literature and his art.” Another described him as “having held up a mirror to the Germans.” But the most memorable and evocative words were from the German Cultural Council which called him “more than a writer…a seismograph on society.”
  • Journalist Donatella Lorch, while explaining on NPR why Nepal’s two giant neighbors India and China are willing to spend billions of dollars to build dams in that tiny landlocked nation, saying: “Nepal is an Aladdin’s cave of water wealth for the entire South Asian region…It has massive glaciers. It has massive rivers…” 
© Copyright 2015  V. J. Singal

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