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Hard to Describe

In by Allison on December 26, 2010 at 11:16 pm

I’m teaching similes to my seventh graders. Correcting papers on the couch, I read one aloud to my husband:
The ocean was like a velvet curtain, and the iceberg was like an iceberg.

“These kids,” I sigh. “The iceberg was like an iceberg? Really?”

I wonder, though. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe somewhere in that navy blue velvet curtain of sea, there really is an iceberg that’s like an iceberg. The icebergiest goddamn iceberg you can imagine. So much an iceberg that any comparison to something else wouldn’t be fair. Words are just words, after all. Words are not icebergs.

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