Sunday, March 13, 2016

Their Thoughts Have Burned Themselves into the Cold Rocks

The challenge in using alliteration and assonance is to make them seem deliberate stylistic choices, and not lapses in revision:

There is everywhere a token of remembrance, of silence and secrecy. Some stronger nature once ruled these neglected trees and this fallow ground. They will wait the return of their master as long as roots can creep through mould, and the mould make way for them. The stories of strange lives have been whispered to the earth, their thoughts have burned themselves into the cold rocks. As one looks from the lower country toward the long slope of the great hillside, this old abiding-place marks the dark covering of trees like a scar. There is nothing to hide either the sunrise or the sunset. The low lands reach out of sight into the west and the sea fills all the east.

-- Sarah Orne Jewett, "The Gray Man."
From, A White Heron, And Other Stories.
Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston and New York, 1914.

No comments: