Beautiful Sentence #9 ~ Tennessee Williams

tennessee williams at typewriter

“My grandmother formed quiet but deeply emotional attachments to places and people and would have been happy to stay forever and ever in one rectory, once her bedroom was papered in lemon yellow and the white curtains were hung there, once she had acquired a few pupils in violin and piano, but my grandfather always dreamed of movement and change, a dream from which he has not yet wakened in this ninety-sixth spring of his life.” -Tennessee Williams, “Grand”, from Collected Stories

Beautiful Sentence #8 ~ President Barack Obama


“You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.” -President Barack Obama, Inaugural Address, 2013

Beautiful Sentence #4 ~ Fleda Brown

“They come in airy flotillas / on each stem, little flower- / blimps, propellers / of petals at their back ends, / which makes me aware of how heavy with history / we are, and how alone, thus forgivably / prone to personification / of the gods.”  – Fleda Brown, from the poem “Bladder Campion”

→ Thanks to Anne-Marie Oomen for sharing this sentence with me. Send beautiful sentences and their sources to templeofair -at- Thanks for reading! -PMc←

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