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Two exceptional–and absolutely simple–lines.

As much as I read, you’d think I wouldn’t say this, but: There are very few nights when I go to bed still thinking of two powerful lines I’ve encountered that day.

Tonight, I’m pleased to say, I can go to bed thinking of these exceptional and absolutely simple lines:

“She noticed a lady with a hem falling down.”– from Rosie Horner’s “Gracefully Becoming a Golden Oldie.”

and

“He looks like a war crime waiting to happen.” -from Christopher Vourlias’ “Fewer bombs, better beaches, and why I should have never left Burundi.”

Why are both effective?

They’re short. They’re simple. They convey a powerful image that drives home the point of the article in a totally fresh way.

Good stuff.

What lines have you read lately that stayed with you and struck you as effective? Share the line and where you read it below.

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7 responses »

  1. Damn. Those are both great lines. It’s a sign of a truly powerful piece when you can’t fall asleep because of one line…

    My friend Kanitha is in Cambodia and writes beautifully. She wrote this amazing post on her Mother visiting / why she’s not a “typical Cambodian girl” who “keeps quiet”. It ends with a poem and this one line is doing for me what the ones above do for you:

    “Mother / I fear when your silence might cease”

    It’s just so telling, but also mysterious. For that reason, it functioned really well as the beginning of the poem.

    Reply
  2. None that I can recollect reading lately.

    But these two are great lines.

    Reply
  3. I love those lines. There’s some great lines and snatches of conversation I’ve kept with me for years (and of course, I can’t think of them now!).

    Reply
    • Candice-

      I have a file on my hard drive with great lines I’ve read; otherwise, I’d totally forget!

      Reply
  4. Ha, that’s a good idea to keep a file with killer lines in it. These were really powerful. I can’t quite express why I love the first one so much, but it does sort of hum. (And this is something I really want to work on: short, deceptively simple sentences that convey layered meaning without having to rely on “clever” or flowery language. It’s hard!!!)

    Reply

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