I have often thought of them.
—Grace Paley, from “Wants” in Enormous Changes at the Last Minute
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
—Stephanie Grant, Guest Editor
Truth be told there are better (and longer) sentences in this story, but there is something utterly delicate and flawless in “I have often thought of them.” Perhaps it’s the light rhyme between “often” and “thought of them,” which seems to glide right off the front of the tongue. Or the lilting melody between the front half of the sentence and the back, as it climbs just slightly, before dropping easily back down. Or maybe it’s the rhetoric of what Paley is saying here—as if remembering anything in particular (even returning a few books to the library) could be as easy as she makes it sound in this one, effortless sentence.
—Will Byrne is a graduate student at American University