Posted by: Jamie Hahn | January 31, 2012

An exceptional paragraph

I’ve been writing a lot recently. Though, nothing worth posting here. I’ve also been reading a lot, and I’m continually in awe of amazing writing. So, I thought I would share some here. I’m reading a book called The Passages of H.M. by Jay Parini. It’s about Herman Melville. Mr. Parini also wrote The Last Station about Tolstoy. His writing is nothing short of magnificent. If I could channel one tenth of his genius, I would be an exceptional writer.

The following paragraph describes how a young Herman feels once he realizes that his love for another man will never be requited:

“His dizziness did not disappear as he walked toward the bunkhouse. The stars suddenly began to wheel overhead, pulsing in great legendary patterns that he could not interpret. He heard a loud hissing, as if some rising surf of feeling threatened to overwhelm him. Unable to proceed, he fell to his knees, dipping his forehead to the grass. He could feel the long rivers of night churning through him, the tears of the world gathering and pushing against a dike that might well burst, at which point he would break apart and scatter, float in a million pieces, sucked into the blackest void ever imagined. He might never again assemble in the hirsute, ungainly sack of skin known as Herman Melville. And that might be a good thing, he thought, a very good thing indeed.”

Keep reading. Keep writing. Let yourself be inspired.



  1. Yay! So happy to hear you are writing and reading and inspired, Jamie! Have so missed your posts, but know how busy, busy you are. I am also in awe of the metaphorical descriptions above. So beautiful.

    I agree: keep reading. Keep writing! And let’s make 2012 an inspired year. Hope you’re all doing well – and that your little girl is inspiring you daily!

  2. Hi Melissa! Thank you for your comment. I am doing what I can to stay inspired these days. It’s hard work. 🙂 I’m hoping to post more frequently, and I’m still planning to catch up on my blog reading. Your blog is at the top of my list!

  3. Thank you for sharing this stunning writing, Jamie! Now I’ll make it a point to read those books.

    • Hi Lynette. Thanks for your comment. I highly recommend The Passages of H.M. The Last Station is high on my to-read list, too. I hope you enjoy them. I’ve found that I need to keep a dictionary handy when reading Mr. Parini’s work, which has been very fun. 🙂

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