Cappy was a skinny guy with big hands and scarred-up, knobby feet, but he had bold cheekbones, a straight nose, big white teeth, and lank, shiny hair hanging down over one brown eye. Melting brown eye.
–Louise Erdrich, from The Round House
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 narrator introduces his best friend in a thirteen-year-old boy’s diction: Syntax is simple and word choice plain but not one is wasted, and many do double duty. Bold cheekbones imply both chiseled face and fearlessness; “straight” and “white” are code for honesty and purity of intent; “big” is repeated--this is an alpha male; “lank, shiny hair hanging down over one brown eye” gives mystery and the touch of androgyny necessary for true sexiness. After the long list, we are stopped by the free-standing appositive “Melting brown eye” which itself melts economic prose into pure lyricism. Melting like chocolate, like Cappy’s heart, like every girl who sets eyes on him, like we will when we get to know him.
—Patricia Chao, author of Monkey King and Mambo Peligroso