Guest Blogger: Dean Miller
Every so often I come upon a sentence or phrase the sticks with me. It may paint a clear picture in my mind, appeal to me in a philosophical manner, or simply sound good to my ear. What makes them standout is the phrase can be taken out of its context, stand alone, and still create an image or feeling that is memorable, even without its supportive structure. I like to call each of these a “Definitive Phrase.”
A perfect example of a definitive phrase comes from the classic film Gone with the Wind, when Rhett Butler (played by Clark Gable, my Mom’s favorite) tells Scarlett O’Hara (played by Vivian Leigh); “Frankly my Dear, I don’t give a damn.”
A second comes from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, when Juliet proclaims; “O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?”
Dan Fogelberg describes a chance taken in the words of his song In the Passage; “But I cast my fate with the wife of Lot. I turn my gaze around.”
The music group Cake has several vivid images in their hit Short Skirt, Long Jacket. My favorite is; “With fingernails that shine like justice. And a voice that is dark like tinted glass.”
Another favorite was penned by Steve Goodman and made famous by Arlo Guthrie in the 1972 Song City of New Orleans. The lyrics read, “And the graveyards of rusted automobiles.”
Richard Bach contains many definitive phrases. A couple I enjoy are; (1) "What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly," (2) “Here is a test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished. If you’re alive it isn't."
Finally, I offer two of my own taken from my blog postings. They are: “It was there, amidst the chaos of weather and waves, I felt alive” from An Unnamed Memory, and “I am nothing that I write, and yet it is everything in me” from Solitary by Choice.
What are your favorite quotes from your work or a different source?
Share one to two below in the comments section below. Maybe we’ll uncover the next definitive phrase.
Dean K Miller is a member of NCW. His blog, "And Then I Smiled" can be found at: www.deankmiller.blogspot.com. He writes a monthly on-linefly fishing article for Elkhorn Fly Rod and Reel, and just debut an on-line serial titled "The River Zen" found at www.flyfishingcrazy.com. An FAA air traffic controller for 23 years, he lives in Loveland, CO with his wife and three daughters. He spends whatever free time he has left fly fishing on the Big Thompson River.