His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.
—James Joyce, from The Dead


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
This is a majestic atmospheric finale that evokes the universe, soul, life, and death; with Gabriel, we hear the silent snow. The music is in the “s” and “f” alliterations, as well as the gradually slowing rhythm: the “falling faintly” flipped to “faintly falling” like snowflakes switching about in the wind. Another flip: the last two phrases are out of order grammatically—“their” precedes its references—but spot on poetically, and makes us take a last breath.
—Patricia Chao is the author of Monkey King and Mambo Peligroso