I don't know if this has been done before, though I know Hex did a one-off a few months ago. I want this to be a thread where we can discuss brilliant lines we've come across in our reading, in particular ones which exhibit unusual and/or skilful word choice or structure -- lines we wish we'd written ourselves, basically. Maybe if we can work out why they're so good (assuming we agree that they are) we can apply some of the lessons ourselves. I'll start with one that keeps coming back to me, from The Water Theatre by Lindsay Clarke. For me, that line conjures up exactly what is being described with an inspiring precision. There are several reasons it works, I think. Many of the words are short and earthy: log, shift, grate, spark, dark, which works well with something as primitive as a fire. The word "grate" not only shows the physical object, but the noise it implies reinforces the sound of the log shifting. "Quickening" is probably the best thing about it. I always love it when verbs are used inventively; I think it's one thing we as writers should all put more effort into. Quickening implies not only giving life, but speed, perfect for a flurry of sparks. "Constellation" is slightly more problematic, only because it sounds a little much when read aloud. But I'll forgive it that because of its suggestion of stars on a cold winter night, which emphasises the fireside feel. Finally, although some rhymes can be intrusive in prose, I really like "sparks in the dark".