The requirement in college to master at least three instruments had led Christie to the harpsichord—and suddenly she was plunged into the narrow yet measureless world of early music, where embellishment rippled into formata, where time changed to suit one’s mood.
—Rita Dove, from Vibraphone


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
The first noun "requirement" introduces a sense of weight and concreteness; "narrow" and "formata" evoke the purely functional, and reinforce this weightiness, but then the trail of verbs, "plunged," "rippled," and "changed," counter the stasis, bringing dynamic movement into the sentence. The opening clause shows Christie following the prescribed path; after the em-dash, passion overtakes obligation, the language of sound and action capture the inspired excitement, and the sentence closes on the evocative "mood". The "where" that begins both final clauses uses repetition with variation (anaphora) and serves also to convey Christie’s intensifying interest in music.
—Ravi Howard is the author of Driving the King and Like Trees, Walking