swoop around

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  • Ann O'Rack

    Senior Member
    UK
    UK English
    The imagery is, I imagine, of a wizard flying on a broomstick, so it's rather clever that the movement you would normally use to describe what a wizard would do on a broom (a bit like a bird) has been assigned to the ground that he's flying over. I don't know if that explanation's of any help, but it is a rather clever image.
     

    Saratoga

    Senior Member
    usa english
    This isn't a literal meaning of the word swoop. Normally it refer to the way birds fly very quickly to catch something. For example

    The owl swooped down on the mouse.

    Possibly birds can also do this without going down, but by flying quickly around in a pattern to catch prey.

    In the passage you quote, the ground is treated like it is a living thing -- a bird -- that is able to fly around something as if were trying to catch it.
     
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