From the Archive:

Beautiful sentences are a pleasure to read and remember. Daniel Dalton of BuzzFeed Books solicited reader opinions on the most beautiful sentences they had read. Here are some of their favorites (and mine), with attribution of the “suggesters” where known.

Twas Brillig

“Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe…”
-Lewis Carroll, The Jabberwocky
-Sentence suggested by @HannahBurden

“A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.”
-Graham Greene, The End of the Affair
Sentence suggested by @elizabethmoya

Baobab at night

“She lay in the dark and knew everything.” -Ian McEwan, Atonement

“You’re just in time for a little smackerel of something.” –A. A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

Fortitude. … It means fixity of purpose. It means endurance. It means having the strength to live with what constrains you.” –Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall

“He slept curled against her back, a dark comma against her pale elegant phrase.” –A.S. Byatt, Possession


“She wasn’t a person to whom things happen. She did all the happenings.” –Muriel Spark, Aiding and Abetting

“What is pertinent is the calmness of beauty, its sense of restraint. It is as though the land knows of its own beauty, its own greatness, and feels no need to shout it.”Clouds Everest

–Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day

“And then he told her. Told her that it was as before, that he still loved her, he could never stop loving her, that he’d love her until death.”–Marguerite Duras, The Lover


NOTE:  My favorite reader response to the question I posed in a previous blog:   “If you could change a key incident in your life, a situation in which you took one path rather than another, what would it be?  What do you imagine the outcome of a different choice would have been?”

The answer:  “One clear / simple response to your main question:
If I hadn’t married J., my life might have been simpler but far drier / shallow. And our 3 terrific kids and their offspring would have lacked some spunky genes.”

And what about you?  In this time when we are all considering what lies ahead and what we would have done differently if our lives had not been so rudely interrupted by COVID–what would you have done a different way?


Note:  all photos taken by me.



About Alexis

Alexis Rankin Popik, author of Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate, is an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in The Berkshire Review and Potpourri Magazine. She has penned numerous articles about local history that have been published in Connecticut Explored and the University of Connecticut School of Law and The Hartford Seminary publications. A former union organizer, Popik traveled the country educating shipyard workers about health and safety and founded a labor-management health plan before turning to writing fiction full-time. She lives with her husband in New England.
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