As a bit of a background, I'd like to start off by saying that this is my first stab at writing drama.

My question is this - is the usage

With a heavy heart and feet, he dragged himself to the nearest bar.


If not, what should the ideal substitution be? I feel as if writing 'heavy' twice in the same sentence would make it unnecessarily redundant.

Apparently, the use of 'heavy heart' has substantially declined after 1862. Also, the usage of 'heavy feet' is pretty minimal all the way from 1800 to 2000, with an exception in the early phase of the 1900s. Source - Google NGrams.

Should I be using the two phrases at all?

I could possibly substitute the entire sentence with something like

With heavy feet and a heart full of grief, he dragged himself to the nearest bar.

A bit of context - The man is rejected and humiliated by his childhood crush in front of the whole class. Naturally, he locates the nearest bar in the vicinity and drinks the night away.

A bit cliche, I know.

Thanks in advance!

  • Let him drag himself to the nearest bar with jaded feet and an aching heart. Mar 6, 2017 at 9:27

2 Answers 2


Because "heavy heart" is so familiar, heavy doesn't work to modify feet. You might say: With heavy heart and leaden feet" (i.e., find a different modifier for feet).

  • Thanks, @Xanne. Shouldn't it be 'Wih a heavy heart and leaden feet', however? The 'a' is what makes the sentence difficult to phrase, Mar 6, 2017 at 8:26
  • @RahulKulhalli then why not just drop the 'a'?
    – Spagirl
    Mar 6, 2017 at 10:30

You could start with the action: "He dragged himself to the nearest bar, with a heavy heart and weary feet."

The image of a heavy heart and feet is, in fact, heavy. When you put it up front, it weighs down the sentence. You might want it there to boost the image. Or you might want to catch us with action and then hit us with his situation.

  • Thanks! Is the comma really necessary, though? Mar 6, 2017 at 8:32
  • Yes. Without the comma, it is the bar that has a heavy heart and feet full of grief. Mar 6, 2017 at 8:39

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