Favourite sentences

Hello!

Apparently, the original thread of good sentences has gone AWOL.

Let’s share some lines you’ve read and been like, well, that’s terrific that is.

Not film please. Books, poems, journalism etc.

1 Like

Kicking it off with a hugely predictable one from me. My favourite ever written sentence. You’ll never guess.

Sparrowhawks were always near me in the dusk, like something I meant to say but could never quite remember.

From The Peregrine by JA Baker.

12 Likes

New entry.

The first thing I was was sheer air.

Love Letters by Sylvia Plath describing her transition from being a stone to being in love.

3 Likes

39 Likes

:smiley:

2 Likes

I love Jon McGregor’s novels, his phrasing is so poetic, but the opening lines of If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things are among my favourites. So simple but evocative:

“If you listen, you can hear it.

The city, it sings.”

Must re-read it soon.

5 Likes

One more on brand one from me

Make the world stop right here. Make everything stop and stand still and never move again. Make the moors never change and you and I never change

Wuthering Heights ofc

Also going to throw in this line from a banging poem I shared in the poetry thread recently

my muzzle carved air into four queendoms and I knew them all
as they knew me, tooth, soul, tatterdemalion heart

The Summer I Lived as a Wolf by Pippa Little

3 Likes

A very predictable one but still a very good one, from Kurt Vonnegut:

When things are going sweetly and peacefully, please pause a moment, and then say out loud, "If this isn’t nice, what is?”

12 Likes

Maybe a bit long for this thread, but I loved this passage from Olga Tokarczuk’s book Flights:

“There are countries out there where people speak English. But not like us - we have our own languages hidden in our carry-on luggage, in our cosmetics bags, only ever using English when we travel, and then only in foreign countries, to foreign people. It’s hard to imagine, but English is the real language! Oftentimes their only language. They don’t have anything to fall back on or to turn to in moments of doubt. How lost they must feel in the world, where all instructions, all the lyrics of all the stupidest possible songs, all the menus, all the excruciating pamphlets and brochures - even the buttons in the lift! - are in their private language. They may be understood by anyone at any moment, whenever they open their mouths. They must have to write things down in special codes. Wherever they are, people have unlimited access to them - they are accessible to everyone and everything! I heard there are plans in the works to get them some little language of their own, one of those dead ones no one else is using anyway, just so that for once they can have something just for them.”

7 Likes

Come on guys, got to beat @JaguarPirate’s 14 replies

2 Likes

Going through my kindle highlights and found this, from the ever cheerful Underground Railroad:

Her mind was wily though, twisty. Thoughts she did not like wormed in from the sides, from beneath, through the cracks, from places she had battened down.

2 Likes

And from Death, as created by Terry Pratchett:

I AM ALWAYS ALONE. BUT JUST NOW I WANT TO BE ALONE BY MYSELF.

5 Likes

Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs.

Got all the alphabet letters, dunnit.

4 Likes

Chabon is a bloody good writer of a sentence imo

The magician seemed to promise that something torn to bits might be mended without a seam, that what had vanished might reappear, that a scattered handful of doves or dust might be reunited by a word, that a paper rose consumed by fire could be made to bloom from a pile of ash. But everyone knew that it was only an illusion. The true magic of this broken world lay in the ability of the things it contained to vanish, to become so thoroughly lost, that they might never have existed in the first place.

4 Likes

i wish this thread all the best and am not at all JEALOUS of this clear popularity contest

also tbf I do have a bunch of photos of my fav sentences, and would like a place for them to be appreciated!

2 Likes

Oooo, can’t miss out a Groff.

At one point, something passed across the woods outside like a shudder, and everything went quiet, and the boys and the dog all looked at me and their faces were like pale birds taking flight, but my hearing had mercifully shut off whatever had occasioned such swift terror over all creatures of the earth, save me.

Florida, Lauren Groff

2 Likes

Not sure this is my favourite sentence in the book but I feel like I have to post something from Circe.

So maybe this

But in a solitary life, there are rare moments when another soul dips near yours, as stars once a year brush the earth. Such a constellation was he to me.

3 Likes

This was good, from Barney Ronays Shane warne eulogy in the guardian

But in reality the essence of Warne’s brilliance was its orthodoxy, its old school purity. Warne was incredibly good at something incredibly hard, a bowling art so complex it had effectively died. Warne, the anti-hero, the custard-haired Ramone, was in fact a classicist. Warne, the cart-propelling surf dude, found crawling out of some urban dustbin clutching a packet of Cheetos and a cricket ball, was above all a brilliantly forensic thinker.

6 Likes

It’s a bit silly, but for some reason the sentence “Several pissed with a tinkling flourish.” always sticks in my mind and occasionally rises to the surface of my thoughts without explanation. The idea of sheep pissing with a tinkling flourish just tickles me…

“Suffolk sheep are peculiar to begin with. They’re completely black, yet their fleece is white. Their ears are large and stick flat out like moth wings, and their luminous blue eyes and long bony noses make them seem foreign. These Suffolks neither rejected nor accepted my presence, regarding me more as a temporary manifestation. Several pissed with a tinkling flourish. The piss flowed across the floor, under my feet, into the gutter.”

Alfred Birnbaum, translating Haruki Murakami

6 Likes

Oh, last one from me (for a while) but there was something about this article that Annie Mac wrote for the Irish Times that I loved

I listen more and allow my mind to wander. I smell the rich cedar smell of my da’s car from all the honey making paraphernalia in the boot. I see his hands on the gear stick, and his face in profile as he drives, telling me things.