This Might Be The Best Opening In Literature


101 Books

Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others, they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men.

That opening from Their Eyes Were Watching God is one of the best openings in literature.

The rhythm and pacing of ZNH’s sentences, the truthfulness and conviction in what she’s saying. It’s just a beautiful opening, I think.

And it sets the stage for the entire novel, along with this second paragraph.

Now, women forget all the things they don’t want to remember, and remember all the things they don’t want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly.

Quite a contrast of description in those two opening paragraphs.


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A Glass Of Wine

You create such enchanting evenings,
While lounging in a lazy evening still holding you in my hand,
Watching the sun bow down to gods of the night,
While you taste my lips with your mellow kisses,
And I pay tribute the spirits of our forefathers,
Who lived in better days and gave birth to this private moment…

Ah. Dear glass of wine,
How you seduce I,
Drawing my wanton desires,
Firing my imagination,
Holding me closer to your erotic bosom,
And claiming my thoughts,
Heady mists of your love,
Breathes my very soul,
Tendrils of lost moments,
Trails a warm path in this heart…

You dear glass of wine of mine,
Don’t whisper to my stupid ears,
That you are leaving,
Leaving so early in the night,
Let me lie in your bourdon,
And make sweet memories come alive,
Let me hold you closer,
And whisper risqué humour,
And mouth naughty odes,
To your open lips dear wine glass…

One glass,
Two glasses,
Three glasses,
Four glasses,
Five glasses,
And the story is complete,
Our delicate story,

Tell me dear wine glass,
Who is fooling who?