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May Some of the Most Beautiful Sentences In Literature Inspire You!

inspiration Nov 17, 2019

I hope you enjoy using this compendium of literary inspiration from readers and writers across the web.

(Although some sentences are grammatically awkward, even incorrect, they can provide a jump-point for your writing.)

1. "At the still point, there the dance is." —T. S. Eliot

Suggested by CindyH11


Creative Commons / Flickr: [email protected]

Suggested by CindyH11


2. "In our village, folks say God crumbles up the old moon into stars."

—Alexander Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

Suggested by Jasmin B., via Facebook

3. "She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together."

—J. D. Salinger, "A Girl I Knew"

Suggested by mollyp49cf70741

4. "I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart; I am, I am, I am."

—Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Suggested by Brooke K., via Facebook


Suggested by tina6287


Creative Commons / Flickr: [email protected]

Suggested by tina6287


6. "Beauty is an enormous, unmerited gift given randomly, stupidly."

—Khaled Hosseini And the Mountains Echoed

Suggested by Danielle O., via Facebook

7. "Sometimes I can feel my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I'm not living."

—Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Suggested by Kellie C., via Facebook

8. "What are men to rocks and mountains?"

—Jane Austen, Pride, and Prejudice

Suggested by amandae16


Suggested by klavdijak22


Creative Commons / Flickr: rayseinefotos

Suggested by klavdijak22


10. "'Dear God,' she prayed, 'let me be something every minute of every hour of my life.'"

—Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Suggested by Shanna B., via Facebook

11. "The curves of your lips rewrite history."

—Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Suggested by Therese K., via Facebook

12. "A dream, all a dream, that ends in nothing, and leaves the sleeper where he lay down, but I wish you to know that you inspired it."

—Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Suggested by amykartzmanr


Suggested by natyjira


Creative Commons / Flickr: junevre

Suggested by natyjira


14. "As Estha stirred the thick jam, he thought Two Thoughts and the Two Thoughts he thought were these: a) Anything can happen to anyone. and b) It is best to be prepared."

—Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

Suggested by Alyssa P., via Facebook

15. "If equal affection cannot be, let the more loving one be me."

—W. H. Auden, "The More Loving One"

Suggested by Blake M., via Facebook

16. "And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good."

—John Steinbeck, East of Eden

Suggested by Missy W., via Facebook


Suggested by Domo


Creative Commons / Flickr: kwarz

Suggested by Domo


18. "There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

—William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Suggested by Emily F., via Facebook

19. "America, I've given you all, and now I'm nothing."

—Allen Ginsburg, "America"

Suggested by Jimmy C., via Facebook

20. "It might be that to surrender to happiness was to accept defeat, but it was a defeat better than many victories."

—W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage

Suggested by fireworkshurricanes


Suggested by amk93.


Creative Commons / Flickr: chrisjl

Suggested by amk93.


22. "At the still point, there the dance is."

—T. S. Eliot, "Four Quartets"

Suggested by vkanicka

23. "Once upon a time, there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering."

—Nicole Krauss, The History of Love

Suggested by Sam H., via Facebook

24. "In spite of everything, I still believe people are really good at heart."

—Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank

Suggested by claires10


Suggested by Christina G., via Facebook


Creative Commons / Flickr: yousefmalallah

Suggested by Christina G., via Facebook


26. "The pieces I am, she gathered them and gave them back to me in all the right order."

—Toni Morrison, Beloved

Suggested by lisah4b5176fb6

27. "How wild it was, to let it be."

—Cheryl Strayed, Wild

Suggested by Natalie P., via Facebook

28. "Do I dare / Disturb the universe?"

—T. S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

Suggested by Kati A., via Facebook


Suggested by Barbara B., via Facebook


Creative Commons / Flickr: library_of_congress

Suggested by Barbara B., via Facebook


30. "She was lost in her longing to understand."

—Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

Suggested by melibellel

31. "She was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world."

—Kate Chopin, "The Awakening"

Suggested by Madeline M., via Facebook

32. "We cross our bridges as we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and the presumption that once our eyes watered."

—Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern Are Dead

Suggested by Liza


Suggested by Kristen S., via Facebook


Creative Commons / Flickr: nancyvioletavelez

Suggested by Kristen S., via Facebook


34. "The half-life of love is forever."

—Junot Diaz, This Is How You Lose Her

Suggested by xxx

35. "I celebrate myself, and sing myself."

—Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Recommended by Alyssa M., via Facebook

36. "There are darknesses in life, and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights."

—Bram Stoker, Dracula

Suggested by Adam A., via Facebook


Suggested by Emily W., via Facebook


Creative Commons / Flickr: michael_wacker

Suggested by Emily W., via Facebook


37. "Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it yet."

—L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Suggested by Stacy W., via Facebook

38. "I could hear the human noise we sat there making, not one of us moving, not even when the room went dark."

—Raymond Carver, "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love"

Suggested by Savey S., via Facebook

39. "I would always rather be happy than dignified."

—Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Suggested by Chelsea Z., via Facebook


Suggested by Sophie C., via Facebook


Creative Commons Flickr: cedwardbrice

Suggested by Sophie C., via Facebook


41. "I have spread my dreams under your feet; / Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."

—W. B. Yeats, "Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven"

Suggested by niamhmdd

42. "It frightened him to think what must have gone to the making of her eyes."

—Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence

Suggested by uncnicole

43. "For poems are like rainbows; they escape you quickly."

—Langston Hughes, The Big Sea

Suggested by TonyaPenn


Suggested by katepalo


Creative Commons / Flickr: archer10

Suggested by katepalo


45. "I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night."

—Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

Suggested by Maria K., via Facebook

46. "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

–F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Suggested by carlyh3

47. "Journeys end in lovers meeting."

—William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

Suggested by foresth2


Suggested by babydolllolita


Creative Commons / Flickr: smithsonian

Suggested by babydolllolita


49. "It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that."

—J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter, and the Sorcerer's Stone

Suggested by Tatiana H., via Facebook

50. "Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt."

—Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

Suggested by Sara S., via Facebook

51. "One must be careful of books, and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us."

—Cassandra Clare, The Infernal Devices

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