Still thinking about sentences (and Pablo Neruda)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Last night, my enormously gracious hostesses at St. Joseph's University—Ann Green and April Lindner—shared their students with me.  Some had read Dangerous Neighbors.  Some had read You Are My Only.  All of them, many in the graduate program, spend their days thinking about words and writing.

I talked about the future of young adult literature.  I also continued to talk about sentences.  Why they matter.  How they are crafted.  What we put at risk if we, as a nation, a culture, foist only plots upon one another, and not song.

Yesterday on this blog I shared some of my own sentences in the making—a beginning place, a mid place—as well as a reminder of a NaNo contest I am conducting.  Last night, at St. Joe's, I read from that same James Wood essay in The New Yorker that I celebrated here not long ago—that lesson in beautiful writing. 

Today I mean only to share these few words from a Pablo Neruda poem.  These are simple lines, simple words.  No pyrotechnics, no self-conscious gloss, no unnecessary intricacies.  Good sentences, I am saying, don't have to be complex.  But they must always be true.

From Neruda:

Only the shadows
the secrets
of closed houses,
only the forbidden wind
and the moon that shines
on the roof


Serena said...

Ah, Neruda! Wonderful words and love him. Thanks for sharing these moments in writing...I hope to stay motivated.

Melissa Sarno said...

True. Yes. I like these words you share.

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