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‘Penelope of the Twentieth Century’ by Elisaveta Bagryana

We are kneaded from the dregs of the past, layered unknowingly in us through time. It lends the violet or scarlet colour to our blood, it gives the lighter or darker shading to our soul. And look- is there an ossicle of my skull, a rounding of my flesh, a fingernail, a soaring of my soul, a surge of my heart- without parents begat from the start of time? Oh, the past! You- inevitable evil or good; you- bright gift or burdening blackness- a miser hoarding heaps of garbage and gold, tireless, pitiless, sleepless archivist-   You exist despite protests or our will-power – amassing old inventories in our hearts, joining the balance sheets of our triumphs and long lists of our loves and hates!   And we – covetors or creators of freedom- we’re nothing but puppets in your hands: we signal moving backwards and forwards, we shout and fight, stumble and rise…   Oh these invisible and terrfiying threads, which you snag then slacken yet never snap, which manipulate our fates, and permanently …

‘The Octogenarian’ by Edith Sitwell.

The Octogenarian Leaned from his window, To the Valerian Growing below Said, ‘My Nightcap is the only gap in the trembling thorn where the mild unicorn with the little infanta danced the Lavolta (Clapping hands: Molto Lent Eleganta). The Man with the Lantern Peers high and low; No more than a snore as he walks to and fro… Il Dottore the stoic culls silver herb beneath the superb vast moon azoic. From: Facade, by Edith Sitwell.