Beautiful Sentences

Image by Philip Hartigan, from Climbing the Crooked Trails Print and Audio Installation

I’m teaching a Critical Reading and Writing: Short Stories class this year to a group of engaged and eager graduate students in Creative Writing: Fiction at Columbia College Chicago. Lately, we have entered into an ongoing conversation about beautiful sentences. (Beauty is in the eye of the reader and all that…) As a writer or prose and a lover of poetry and plays, I often find myself stunned, enthralled, swept away, breathless, thick-throated, and love-struck by single sentences. I bet you do as well.

On occasion–say, twice a week or so–I would like to share a beautiful sentence I have discovered while reading. I will offer it to you without comment but for where I found it.

Feel free to share your own with me (us) here. And as always, thanks for reading!

Beautiful sentence #1: “They were flying high and low but ever round and round in straight and curving lines and ever flying from left to right, circling about a temple of air.” – James Joyce, PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN

4 Replies to “Beautiful Sentences”

  1. What a fabulous idea. I’ve often felt the same–the sentence is the way language breathes, changes and shifts, but keeps its essence like water or personality, and therefore seems to share much with living beings, but like many beautiful living things, it is often underestimated or simply take for granted.

    1. I would love to say that I did that purposefully, but I can’t quite claim that. I suppose this may have stuck with me after reading Joyce a few times (but not in decades)–but only somewhere deep in my subconscious. (Perhaps I shouldn’t admit any of this and just yes, yes, of course this is where my title comes from?)

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