Sentences

I’m not sure people quite believe me when I grumble about the long sentences in some of my set texts. So I thought I’d favour you all with a particularly fine example of the ridiculous sentence. Here’s a fine poetic account of the end of the day. Without full stops. And if you can make sense of the bits about the sandbank and the ivory crocodile, you’re doing better than the rest of us.

While the day was gradually growing dim (mandàyamàne), its pools dejected by the calamity of the mass of lotuses that had been made to close, as the blessed single eye of the world, red like the face (lapana) of a very young ape, was falling quickly below the mountain-tops, as if it were being scolded by the glances, crooked through anger, of female lovers who were happy because of drinking alcoholm as the region of the divine hermitage was whitened by the streams of milk flowing from the herd of cows with milk-yielding udders, as if (being whitened) by the waves (kùàlita) of the sea of milk which has been disturbed because of the approaching moonrise, when Airavata (Indra’s elephant) was rooting of his own accord on the banks of the Ganges, wandering about on his evening stroll, his tusk reddened by striking its banks, as the group of stars appeared pale red, as if smeared by the colour of lac from the feet of many thousands of mistreses of the vidhyadaramas, as they set out, as the red sandal-juice was flowing, dying the horizon as it was poured out in an evening offering (arghya) to the sun, given by the siddhas who had set off in the sky, like the sweat of Evening as she takes pleasure in her homage to ÷iva, looking like a flower, as the world of brahma was shining with a forest of anjuli-gestures at twilight, formed by the clique of excellent sages giving praise, as if every pool of lotuses had gone to serve the lotus which was the birthplace of Brahma, as Brhahma was signing the hymn of the third soma-pressing ritual, as the homes of the seven sages, whose courtyards were crested (jañàla) with flames which were burning in a shining vaitana-ritual, like a nirajana (ceremony of waving lights in front of swords) being begun in the camp of the army of righteousness, as the ascetics were light because of recovering from the sigckness caused by the poison of sin, which had been removed by the aghamarùaõa (the last hymn of the Rg-veda), as the waters of the Mandàkinã river, whose waves were choppy and smile-white because of the geese swimming in it, the vehicles of the lotus-born one (Brahma), as the forest of night-lotuses, sweetly perfumed by their own honey, pleasing to bees, were eager to open up, a parasol for the the water-gods, a mansion for the harem filled with the wives of the birds, as a group of ducks were about to go to sleep, pleased at drinking together the sweet nectar from the day-lotuses, which were fading at the end of the day, twisting their necks into circles as they rubbed them on soft stems of lotus-fibre, their pond of blue lotuses fanned by rows of flapping wings, as the faint evening wind, like the sigh of the night, carrying the scent of jasmine from the braided hair of married women in the city of the siddhas, was blowing, turning the pools grey with pollen from the creepers on river-banks, as a swarm of bees was lying down in huts formed from the hollows of lots of lotuses, with narrow parts formed from the tipws of their filaments, which were tall and erect because of the contraction (of the lotuses), as a group of stars was forming a cluster on the surface of the sky, looking like a group of buds of kutaja-flowers in the forest of the matted hair of siva, thrown up as he dances, as the young darkness was closing down on the earth, dense like a black cloud (or, dense like the cloud of the time of dissolution of the universe), bright like the skin of the fruit of the ripe fan-palm, copper-coloured in the aftermath of the twilight, as a multitude of laps was opening up, sharp for breaking the veil of the young darkness, a mass of buds of campaka-flowerws that were the earrings of the Night-woman, as the face of Indra’s portion of the sky (i.e. the East) was thinning (kra÷ayati) the darkness, pale with the light of the beauty of the rays of the waning moon, like a sandbank on the Yamuna river, freed from the darkness of the water as it dries up, as the darkness, which looked like a jay’s wing or the mass of hair of the tribeswoman of the night, melted away like the heart of a proud woman disturbed by having her hair grasped by many moonbeams, turning to dark blue the pools of open lotuses, as the blessed moon was rising, raising up its red body like the lower lip of the bride of the night, covered in the redness of the moonrise, as if it was covered with a heap of blood oozing from the moon’s own deer, killed by the weapons that were the many sharp claws of a lion in his cave on a slope towards the peak of the Eastern mountain, as the darkness was destroyed as if it was being washed by the torrent of water from a moonstone which has been dislodged from a mountain, as the circle of the moon was beginning to fill the ocean, like a large conduit, its mouth an ivory crocodile, carrying the large quantities of milk flowing from the world of cows, in the clear evening Savitri spoke to Sarasvati, who was tearful and somewhat meditative, and seemed as though her heart was empty.

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