Elements of Eloquence Single Line Challenge, Chapter 10: Periodic Sentence
This one’s long, so let’s go temporarily back to a single-chapter format.
The periodic sentence is a long sentence, in which the main verb is postponed until the very end. Phrasally, it has a certain rhythm. It is not the same thing as a run-on. Rhetorically, it charges the reader’s interest, unless it loses his attention. It’s rather formal, by necessity.
The most famous example is Rudyard Kipling’s poem “IF.”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
Can you do it? Pop your line into the comment section, and on we charge!