The 22 Most Beautiful Lines I Read in 2022

Gut-wrenching and lovely, poignant and sharp, these are the lines that stuck with me this year

Kolina Cicero


Photo by Ioann-Mark Kuznietsov on Unsplash

I am back with my annual roundup of sentences I read this year that stopped me in my tracks. Sentences I underlined, bookmarked, and thought about for days and weeks after.

In no particular order, here are the 22 most beautiful lines (occasionally I cheat and include 2–3) I read in 2022:

She was at an age when the future adult rattles the child’s bones like the bars of a cage.

Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead

People will risk everything for a little bit of something beautiful.

My Dark Vanessa | Kate Elizabeth Russell

When a baby falls asleep in your arms you are absolved. The purest creature alive has chosen you. There’s nothing else.

The Sentence | Louise Erdrich

Death always thinks of us eventually. The trick is to find the joy in the interim, and make good use of the days we have.

These Precious Days | Ann Patchett

Where does music go when it’s not playing? — she asked herself. And disarmed she would answer: May they make a harp out of my nerves when I die.

Near to the Wild Heart | Clarice Lispector

The sky, unlike the sea, never holds on to the people that pass through it. The sky contains nothing of our spirit, it doesn’t care. Always shifting, altering its aspect from one moment to the next, it can’t be defined.

Whereabouts | Jhumpa Lahiri

It’s remarkable what people become blind to when they’re in such darkness.

Eileen | Ottessa Moshfegh

He spoke in short sentences, every word fell on the bed clear and straight as a knife.

A Sister’s Story | Donatella Di Pietrantonio

… it seemed to me that my face was hanging to one side like the coiled skin of an orange after the knife has begun to peel it.

The Days of Abandonment | Elena Ferrante

I wonder if any family, after too long trying and…