Language rhythm


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Examples of beautiful and inspiring prose

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Language rhythm

  1. 1. As the corpse went past, the flies left therestaurant table in a cloud and rushedafter it, but they came back a fewminutes later.George Orwell, “Marrakesh”
  2. 2. Where all was burnt to ash before them nofires were to be had and the nights were longand dark and cold beyond anything they’d yetencountered. Cold to crack the stones. Totake your life. He held the boy shiveringagainst him and counted each frail breath inthe blackness.Cormac McArthy, The Road
  3. 3. I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race isnot to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neitheryet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men ofunderstanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; buttime and chance happeneth to them all.King James Bible
  4. 4. And I have learned how to live with it, learnedwhen to expect it, how to outwit it, even howto regard it when it does come as more friendthan lodger. We have reached a certainunderstanding, my migraine and I.Joan Didion, “Migraines”
  5. 5. It is a face seen once and lost forever in acrowd, an eye that looked, a face that smiled andvanished on a passing train, it is the prescience ofsnow upon a certain night, the laughter of awoman in a summer street long years ago, it is thememory of a single moon seen at the pines’ darkedge in old October – and all our lives are writtenin the twisting of a leaf upon a bough, a door thatopened, and a stone.Thomas Wolfe, Of Time and the River
  6. 6. Then I shall come back through the trembling lanesunder the arches of the nut leaves. I shall pass an oldwoman wheeling a perambulator full of sticks; and theshepherd. But we shall not speak. I shall come backthrough the kitchen garden, and see the curved leavesof the cabbages pebbled with dew, and the house inthe garden, blind with curtained windows. I shall goupstairs to my room, and turn over my ownthings, locked carefully in the wardrobe: my shells; myeggs; my curious grasses. I shall feed my doves and mysquirrel. I shall go to the kennel and comb my spaniel.So gradually I shall turn over the hard thing that hasgrown here in my side. But here bells ring; feet shuffleperpetually.Virginia Woolf, The Waves
  7. 7. Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, whichhas turned my life into one long night, seven times cursedand seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke.Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whosebodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silentblue sky.Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faithforever.Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprivedme, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forgetthose moments which murdered my god and my soul andturned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget thesethings, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself.Never.Elie Wiesel