“Go on the Useless Presents.”

“Bags of moist and many-colored jelly babies and a folded flag and a false nose and a tram-conductor’s cap and a machine that punched tickets and rang a bell; never a catapult; once, by mistake that no one could explain, a little hatchet; and a celluloid duck that made, when you pressed it, a most unducklike sound, a mewing moo that an ambitious cat might make who wished to be a cow; and a painting book in which I could make the grass, the trees, the sea and the animals any colour I pleased, and still the dazzling sky-blue sheep are grazing in the red field under the rainbow-billed and pea-green birds.

“Hardboileds, toffee, fudge and allsorts, crunches, cracknels, humbugs, glaciers, marzipan, and butterwelsh for the Welsh.

“And troops of bright tin soldiers who, if they could not fight, could always run. […] And a whistle to make the dogs bark to wake up the old man next door to make him beat on the wall with his stick to shake our picture off the wall. And a packet of cigarettes: you put one in your mouth and you stood at the corner of the street and you waited for hours, in vain, for an old lady to scold you for smoking a cigarette, and then with a smirk you ate it.”

Dylan Thomas,
from A Child’s Christmas in Wales

Note: Ursula K. Le Guin in her book of advice for writers, Steering the Craft: A 21st-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story, suggests that writers now and then consider writing a passage that is flat-out gorgeous. These “Gorgeous Writing” posts are examples of memorable passages in great literature.