March 19, 2009

One Sentence, Please

I must say, that this assignment/request/challenge--that of writing a Slice in one sentence--reminds me of a term at grad school, when the professor (an amazing poet of some reknown) declared that we would write poems, and not the usual free verse we'd been used to as undergrads, but rather would attempt (her words, not mine) to write them in a certain form that only she, as the professor, would choose because after all, we were there to learn, weren't we, and at this we all nodded and took to writing in villanelles, sonnets, blank verse, Shakespeare's favorite of iambic pentameter; we slaved over these forms, willing ourselves to be swept up! taken up! transformed by the sheer rigor of form, rather than letting our messy selves be untidy and unkempt--for form championed all, and it gave a structure for which to tackle the difficult, as did Browning in his romantic and oft-quoted sonnets--and in our puny lives we figured our difficulties would move us to write transcendent pantoums, ballads and sestinas and so eagerly did we attend to our task that we were completely surprised, that final week of class, to learn that our assignment now was to lay aside the form and write from the heart, not being restrained by either ancient or modern verbal shackles, as she felt that we had learned our lessons and now would write better for having tried, would write better for attempting the difficult, that we would write (so she hoped--and so did we) . . . better.


The scent of orange blossoms fills the air, competing with freesias and wisteria for my attention.


  1. If you have not done so, you may want to contribute your sentence to my Day in a Sentence feature at my blog, where folks from all over boil down a day or their week to one sentence.

    This week:

    We also move the Day in a Sentence around to other blogs at times, so it is a revolving feature.

    I hope to read you there!

  2. Good Morning, and thanks for taking me to grad school English class.

    I loved you one sentence slice and your thoughts about writing it. I too told Stacey that I would try it today. But right now I am just stopping by to read; it is way too early to get any creative juices flowing.

  3. I love it...I just did mine but I think I'll respond to your one sentence slice with a one sentence slice of my own.

    The Ice Cold Frappe pulses through my veins as I type promises to myself that I hope I can keep.

  4. I really like this idea. It is a neat challenge in more ways than one.

  5. Good sentence! I find I am too verbose to play the "Day in a Sentence" game. I have done it a few times, but I can't stop at just one.

  6. This was my favorite phrase:

    "transformed by the sheer rigor of form"

    And I admire your work today!

  7. What a wonderful way to learn and then share it. Thanks,