That's the sentence from "The Great Gatsby" today, in the "Gatsby" project.
Tears coursed. The subject and the predicate are right up there at the outset. No teasing about where the foundation of this sentence is. Course is a strange verb for ran. There are reasons to choose the odder word. Course, for example, is more woody, less tinny than ran. The tears coursed, but not freely, because they got stuck on the woman's mascaraed eyelashes. It's thickly applied black mascara. We know it's thickly applied, because it's the excess blobs of mascara that give the impression of beads, and inky means black. So the tears got stuck on the blobs and became a coagulated black liquid, slowed down, but still, on each cheek, a little river, a rivulet.
Is rivulet a strange word? Classical Latin had the word rīvulus and there's rivoletto in Italian. John Milton used rivulet, in 1667, in "Paradise Lost," one of the books my readers urge upon me as they imagine they see the light at the end of the "Gatsby" tunnel. "As my train emerged from the tunnel into sunlight...," I found the rivulet sentence in "Paradise Lost":
In Bowre and Field he sought, where any tuftOh, come on now! That sentence is absurdly long! And the spelling is so perverse — Bowre and Flour for bower and flower. I like the Roses bushing round as the Snake finds EVE alone. The gay flowers — flours — drooping... interestingly vulnerable. But storn... what is it? Storn! I know it's woody.
Of Grove or Garden-Plot more pleasant lay,
Thir tendance or Plantation for delight,
By Fountain or by shadie Rivulet
He sought them both, but wish'd his hap might find
EVE separate, he wish'd, but not with hope
Of what so seldom chanc'd, when to his wish,
Beyond his hope, EVE separate he spies,
Veild in a Cloud of Fragrance, where she stood,
Half spi'd, so thick the Roses bushing round
About her glowd, oft stooping to support
Each Flour of slender stalk, whose head though gay
Carnation, Purple, Azure, or spect with Gold,
Hung drooping unsustaind, them she upstaies
Gently with Mirtle band, mindless the while,
Her self, though fairest unsupported Flour,
From her best prop so farr, and storn so nigh.
No, no, no! I'm too smart to succumb to that temptation. I am not a stooping, drooping blogger. I'm shrinking back into my "Gatsby" tunnel. Tomorrow is Groundhog Day, but I've seen my shadie shadow this evening. I'm frightened, terrified. The unfree tears course down my cheeks, slowed by the speed bumps of inky mascara.