Sentences I like

This is my second post about sentences I’ve encountered that struck me as very well-worded, poignant, impactful sentences that I would have been proud to write. (Here is the first post.)

His teeth felt strange in his head, tiny tombstones set in pink moist earth.
—Stephen King, The Gunslinger

Those gods might not punish at once, but sooner or later the penance would have to be paid…and the longer the wait, the greater the weight.
—Stephen King, The Waste Lands

It was only this clearing that had heard the full and painful measure of her grief; to the stream she had spoken it, and the stream had carried it away.
—Stephen King, Wizard and Glass

And beneath them as the night latened and the moon set, this borderland world turned like a dying clock.
—Stephen King, Wolves of the Calla

We spread the time as we can, but in the end the world takes it all back.
—Stephen King, Wolves of the Calla

A mist hung over the Devar-tet Whye like the river’s own spent breath.
—Stephen King, Song of Susannah

Outside, the wind gusted. The old horse whinnied as if in protest to the sound. Beyond the frost-rimmed window, the falling snow was beginning to twist and dance.
—Stephen King, The Dark Tower

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. … Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
—Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot

On the northern faces and higher ground of the rolling hills in the valley divide, the wind combed billowing fields of gray standing hay with rhythmic strokes, while dark evergreen boughs of spruce and pine swayed and shivered in erratic gusts that found their way around to the protected south-facing sides.
—Jean M. Auel, The Plains of Passage

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.
—Robert Jordan, The Eye of the World

There was a steaming mist in all the hollows, and it had roamed in its forlornness up the hill, like an evil spirit, seeking rest and finding none. A clammy and intensely cold mist, it made its slow way through the air in ripples that visibly followed and overspread one another, as the waves of an unwholesome sea might do.
—Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Thus it had come to pass, that Tellson’s was the triumphant perfection of inconvenience. After bursting open a door of idiotic obstinacy with a weak rattle in its throat, you fell into Tellson’s down two steps, and came to your senses in a miserable little shop, with two little counters, where the oldest of men made your cheque shake as if the wind rustled it, while they examined the signature by the dingiest of windows, which were always under a shower-bath of mud from Fleet-street, and which were made the dingier by their own iron bars proper, and the heavy shadow of Temple Bar.
—Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

No vivacious Bacchanalian flame leaped out of the pressed grape of Monsieur Defarge; but, a smoldering fire that burnt in the dark, lay hidden in the dregs of it.
—Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

…nobody wondered to see only Madame Defarge in her seat, presiding over the distribution of wine, with a bowl of battered small coins before her, as much defaced and beaten out of their original impress as the small coinage of humanity from whose ragged pockets they had come.
—Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Troubled as the future was, it was the unknown future, and in its obscurity there was ignorant hope.
—Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

When the dream of vengeance in which we joined begins to drown all innocence in the blood tide, we are forced to look at the mingling of innocence and violence in ourselves.
—Stephen Koch, Afterword to A Tale of Two Cities

Sixteenth Street traffic moves in frustrated inches and headlong stampedes.
—David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

Sometimes the fluffy bunny of incredulity zooms around the bend so rapidly that the greyhound of language is left, agog, in the starting cage.
—David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

The cold sank its fangs into my exposed neck and frisked me for uninsulated patches.
—David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

He chiseled open the fault lines in the others’ personalities.
—David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

I lived with them on Montague Street in a basement down the stairs
There was music in the cafes at night and revolution in the air.
—Bob Dylan, “Tangled Up In Blue”

There is no greener green than the green of a ball field in spring.
Buster Olney

Tall green plants, possibly corn, grew in softly sighing ranks that stretched to the distant horizon where the last arc of a huge red sun was setting.
—Dan Simmons, The Fall of Hyperion

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2 Responses to Sentences I like

  1. Russell McMullen says:

    Re: Churchill’s 44 quotes page
    You have the wrong date for Churchill’s speech where he used the term “iron curtain”: it was March 5, 1946, not 1945. Final Soviet push to Berlin didn’t begin until April 16, 1945

  2. John says: