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When Damon Hill said to Martin Whitmarsh at the Malaysian Grand Prix, alluding to McLaren's poor form at Melbourne, 'Last week, your furrow was browed,' what did he contribute to the world of metaphor?
Obviously, if one is ploughing over a hill (a Hill!), a furrow might be browed (ridged) at the summit. Is that a problem? I think not. Or, to consider it another way, an existing furrow might become 'browed' if the earth swelled beneath it. Possibly more of a problem, and one that could easily apply to Whitmarsh's situation and state of mind. But it would be pretty extraordinary.
Or is it the case that Whitmarsh's furrow was browed in the sense of 'bounded' or 'marked off.' Is he like the Attendant Spirit in Comus whose pasture land is 'hard by i' the hilly crofts / That brow this bottom-glade' (Comus, 531–2)? This seems more likely. In the verses, the bottom-glade in the 'hideous wood' is the scene of awful doings, but it is a limited space. It seems that Hill was suggesting, rightly, that Whitmarsh and McLaren's furrow, and the late-season fruitfulness it ought to represent, is being limited, bound and bounded. And the worst thing is, according to everyone at the team, that no-one knows why. But they are working on it. They are working on it. Fighting back against the wilderness. Ploughing with the MP4-28.
An interesting perspective offered by Hill. 7/10.