It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
—Charles Dickens, from A Tale of Two Cities
Poets think in lines, prose writers in sentences; the best of both work from sound to sense, with an ear for the music in their compositions. S for Sentence celebrates lyricism in prose, the play and craft at work in the artful sentence. We post a sentence a month along with comments by a guest writer on the craft that shapes it, on what makes it great. In one or two sentences.
—Pearl Abraham, Editor
It is always the best and the worst; in the midst of life we are in death, and nothing is ever what it is, but just what we say it is, the king is dead, long live the king. There you have it (or to be more accurate, there I have it) because nothing changes, revolution changes nothing, or the more things change the more they stay the same. We write because it is the worst of times but that makes it the best of times; the worse it is the more we write, the better it gets the worse we become. There’s hope but hope always seems hopeless. Poetry really is like an atom bomb, the ultimate terrible beauty, as the poets gain power to practice what they decry and poetry being the war to end all wars, goes out and wages war. The beast slayer becomes as bad as the beast, the servant as bad as the master; more of a paradox than an oxymoron, but if we are going for the latter then let’s take Richard Yates’ advice: "...if you're gonna be a phony, you might as well be a real phony."
—Peader O'Donoghue is the author of Jewel and the co-editor of PB Magazine and Press