“Half Shadow and Half Glitter”

Guest Post by Samkelo
Featured image is a drawing of brambles by Leonardo da Vinci.

This is an extract from Barbara Willard’s The Sprig of Broom:

“It was mid-October, the harvest well stored. The sun was as hot as if it shone in the first week of September, but a tumbling sky threw great clouds before the wind, and when the sun was obscured then all the promise of winter was in the air. But it was magic weather, a gift to sweeten the sadness of the ending year. There were still blackberries, thick and dripping with juice, but these would remain on the bushes, for by now, as it was said, the Devil had spat on them and they should not be eaten. So birds gorged themselves, and the ground and the leaves of the brambles were strewn with purple droppings. The water, half shadow and half glitter, threw back the colours of beech and bracken tossing them over the boulders like gold and copper coins”

What kind of atmosphere does the descriptive writing create?

2 thoughts on ““Half Shadow and Half Glitter”

  1. Jamie says:

    The atmosphere created shows that it was summer lurking in when all of a sudden the “tumbling sky threw great clouds” and the sun had vanished. The atmosphere suddenly becomes dark and gloomy. By saying “Devil had spat on them” could mean a spell was cast and cursed everything. It may have rained shown by the phrase “The water, half shadow and half glitter”. The clouds cast their shadows on the water and the sun could be peaking though the clouds generating the glitter effect.


  2. Carolyne says:

    With the use of present continuous verbs such as ‘tumbling’, ‘dripping’ and ‘tossing’ an atmosphere of movement is created where the reader envisions themselves in the story. The verbs are also rather soft verbs with connotations of a slow gradual movement, thus giving the effect that the weather is changing gradually and not abruptly. The atmosphere also has a bitter-sweet aspect of saying farewell to the year and embracing both a change of year and season. The bitterness can be derived from the fact that the berries can no longer be enjoyed. Feeding to the bittersweet atmosphere is the water described as ‘half shadow and half glitter’ with the shadow signifying the sadness while the glitter signifying the happiness.

    Liked by 1 person

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