Yes, this kind of English is normal, although it would be considered
somewhat flowery in spoken English. You see it sometimes in descriptive
writing. This kind of construction emphasizes the adverbial at the beginning
of the sentence, and it also gives a formal, dramatic, literary, or
even poetic tone to the language in constructions like these:
1. Sentences beginning with adverbs such as up, down,
in and out, when the subject is a
noun, but not a pronoun, and the verb is intransitive:
Down came the rain
with terrific force; up went the umbrellas.
(but, it came
down?strong>they went up)
In walked the president,
accompanied by his wife, daughters, and five Secret Service Agents.
(but, he walked
2. Sentences beginning with a prepositional phrase expressing place,
with the main verb being intransitive. Again, nouns, not pronouns, fit
into this inversion pattern.
On the corner stood a large, impressive statue
of the famous general.
(but, it stood
on the corner)
Inside the room lay the remnants of
their dinner, hurriedly abandoned as the family fled the marauders.
(but, they lay
inside the room)
3. A passive verb which is separated into its parts, with the main
verb beginning the sentence. Again, nouns, not pronouns, fit into this
Watched closely by scientists are long-dormant
are closely watched—or they
are watched closely)
Held as hostages were several reporters
from the mainland.
(but, they were
See also this related message.