I was born in a large Welsh town at the beginning of the Great War—an ugly, lovely town (or so it was and is to me), crawling, sprawling by a long and splendid curving shore where truant boys and sandfield boys and old men from nowhere, beachcombed, idled and paddled, watched the dockbound ships or the ships steaming away into wonder and India, magic and China, countries bright with oranges and loud with lions; threw stones into the sea for the barking outcast dogs; made castles and forts and harbours and race tracks in the sand; and on Saturday afternoons listened to the brass band, watched the Punch and Judy, or hung about on the fringes of the crowd to hear the fierce religious speakers who shouted at the sea, as though it were wicked and wrong to roll in and out like that, white-horsed and full of fishes.
—Dylan Thomas, from Quite Early One Morning


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
In this magnificent sentence, loose and long, constituting an entire paragraph, great use is made of details placed in various forms of the series. After the initial statement the sentence proceeds descriptively, using double adjectives in front of nouns—“ugly, lovely town”—and double participles after the noun—“crawling, sprawling”—along with many instances of balance—“so it was and is to me,” “long and splendid,” “idled and paddled,” and “bright with oranges and loud with lions.” Note also the four-part series used: “castles and forts and harbours and race tracks.” In the sentence abundant use is also made of sound devices: alliteration—“wicked and wrong”—and rhyme—“crawling, sprawling.” And you will note the terminal rhythm of the sentence, after the long sweep of clauses and phrases: “as though it were wicked and wrong to roll in and out like that, white-horsed and full of fishes,” with “white-horsed,” a repositioned adjective, acting as a brake on the rhythmical flow.
—Weathers and Winchester are the authors of Copy and Compose: A Guide to Prose Style, (Prentice-Hall, 1969)