Take this sentence: "The library whispers with the flitting of wordless pages; its shapeshifting shelves are a labyrinth of blank books." A dear friend of mine asked (rhetorically, I believe) "Can we cut the are?" I have seen this "are-less form/structure" as I am calling it here in fiction before... but is it actually still grammatical if the are is removed? Ex.: "The library whispers with the flitting of wordless pages; its shapeshifting shelves a labyrinth of blank books." Is this technically poetic or creative license? It seems uncommon, but I've definitely seen this structure enough in publication. I'm not exactly sure what is going on here, for I consider myself but a layman, but it would appear that when are is removed that "a" also acts as a state-of-being verb as well as an article.