The bellow rose and fell, then it blared out one last time, rising out of its own momentum as if it were escaping finally, after centuries of waiting, into silence. The beady night noises closed in again. Flannery O'Connor: The Violent Bear It Away

Does the phrase in bold mean

  • to rise out of proportion
  • to spin off on its own?
  • The usual prepositional phrase is 'under its own momentum'. There are 49 000 Google hits for 'continued under its own momentum'. Though vertical as well as horizontal motion may be shown by a moving body, and metaphorical usage might echo this, the expression 'rise/rose under its own momentum' seems much less common. Aug 3 '14 at 15:02

It means "rising using its own force",

or more precisely, it is referring to the physical term momentum, which is about the fact that a moving mass keeps moving, if there are no forces stopping it.

So it means "it is continuing the raising movement from the energy of its own, not driven by an external force".


If you're on a swing set, furiously pumping your legs, swinging back and forth, back and forth, ever faster, ever higher, and at the very peak of your arc; at the absolute apogee, you jump off, launching yourself into the endless, silent, sky... why, then, you're rising out of your own momentum.

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