Metaphors are tiny saviors leading the way out of sentimentality, small disciples of Pound, urging “Say it new! Say it new!” It’s hard for emotion to feel flat if its language is suitably novel, to feel excessive if its rendering is suitably opaque. Metaphors translate emotion into surprising and sublime language, but they also help us deflect and diffuse the glare of revelation.

The endless ocean was his sole companion , and on some deeply sentimental level, it seemed sufficient. Almost apt. He aligned himself with Thoreau and Tolstoy, he felt like their peers. The kinship with nature devoted humans to a mythical state, a heightened persona beyond the reach of mere mortals. At least that was what he told himself on the lonely nights when insomnia played on his fears and the howling wind pierced through his soul.