Sometimes I’d watch her run our strip of yard to the street, to a car revving there, to a boy at rest in his Naugahyde bounty, that great godly twitch of electric guitar when she opened his door, her roaring off from all that was lived here or near us.
–Sam Lipsyte, from “The Drury Girl”
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
The opening word “Sometimes,” immediately flips on the nostalgic switch; the brilliant “Naugahyde bounty” and “great godly twitch of electric guitar” back it up by evoking American cars and American culture of a bygone era, the 1970s. The coolness factor is high. The one-syllable-per- word cadence of “run our strip of yard to the street,” followed by the refrain-like “to a car,” “to a boy” gives the reader a sense of what’s at stake: Our watchful narrator is not the boy in the car. The action verbs, “run,” “revving,” “rest” and the final “roaring” serve as contrast to our longing, lonely, jealous narrator: He is doing none of these “rrrr” things. He is merely watching the girl take off, leaving him and “all that was lived here or near us” behind.
—Cody Strait is an MFA in Fiction candidate at Western New England University