We can all write beautifully. We just have to find our own distinctive writing voice. Every one of the following passages is beautifully written and uses words to paint pictures, impressions, moods. Yet, how different they all are:
“First sight of morning light, the heart-broken blue ocean washed sadness onto the grey rocks.” Lawson McKenzie. Quills Tuition Writing student.
“Willie in his mind’s eye saw for the thousandth time his three sisters milling in the pantry, Annie getting under Maud’s elbows and Dolly getting under any elbows going. And his father shouting from the front room not to be roaring at each other. And the fire of Welsh coals roaring in the big black iron grate, speaking of the collieries. And the chimney howling in the wind, and the skies blowing about outside in the deep winter. (p. 20. Sebasian Barry, A Long Long Way. London: Faber and Faber, 2005.)
(i do not know what it is about you that closes and opens; only something in me understands the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses) nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands (e e cummings somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond)
Fred Astaire: ‘Not a handsome man. He said himself he couldn’t sing. He was balding his whole life. He danced like a cheetah runs, with the grace of the first creation’ (Sebastian Barry, The Secret Scripture. p. 186.)
Of leaves and branches. This garden, left to its own devices for more than half a century, had become unusual and charming. Pedestrians of forty years ago stopped in the street to peer into it through the grill, having no notion of the secrets concealed behind its dense foliage. More than one dreamer in those days allowed his gaze and his thoughts to travel beyond the twisted bars of that ancient, padlocked gate hung between two moss-grown stone pillars and grotesquely crowned with a pattern of intricate arabesques. There was an old stone bench in one corner, one or two lichen-covered statues, a few rotting remains of trellis-work that had blown off the wall; but there were no lawns or garden paths, and couch-grass grew everywhere. Gardeners had deserted it and Nature had taken charge, scattering it with an abundance of weeds, a fortunate thing to happen to any patch of poor soil. The gilly-flowers in bloom were splendid. Nothing in that garden hindered the thrust of things towards life, and the sacred process of growth found itself undisturbed. The trees leaned down to the brambles, and the brambles rose up into the trees; plants had climbed and branches had been; creepers spreading on the ground had risen to join flowers blossoming in the air and things stirred by the wind had stooped to the level of things lingering in the moss. Trunks and branches, leaves, twigs, husks, and thorns had mingled, married and cross-bred; vegetation in a close and deep embrace had celebrated and performed, under the satisfied eye of the Creator the holy mystery of its consanguinity, a symbol of human fraternity in that enclosure some three hundred feet square. It was no long a garden but one huge thicket, that is to say, something as impenetrable as a forest and as populous as a town, quivering like a bird’s nest, dark as a cathedral, scented as a bouquet, solitary as a tomb and as living as a crowd. (Victor Hugo, Les Miserable. Penguin classics.p. 762 – 763.)