Diana Gilliland Wright

. . . about the owl . . .

We have great problems from our water, particularly teeth falling out and hepatitis and cancer. But these days there is very little plague and cholera, and our sky is always blue. Report from Bukhara


Altogether elsewhere, vast
Herds of reindeer move across
Miles and miles
of golden moss,
Silently and very fast.
W. H. Auden





I quali posti et senbinze di terre non son tratte
niuna di la charta,
ma sonno tochate chon mano et vegiute cholli ochi.






. . . on this shore a tower
. . . is however,
. . . in this climate gold
. . . taking a rope
. . . is said they measured

Piri Re'is



Myanmar people can easily get fish for dishes
by just fishing
in the fields and ditches.
In the early monsoon,
large edible frogs
are abundant.
Farmers can gather
water clover or
go out with lamps at night
and catch
plump frogs.



. . . a little wine for remembrance. . . a little water for the dust . .
Miscellaneous verses on time, hope, rich men, the quail and cocoanuts.

Manuel II Palaiologos

John VIII Palaiologos
John VIII Texts

Thomas Palaiologos

Cardinal Bessarion

Palaiologan Portraits


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Creatures of a day,
what is a man?

What is he not

The Queen poor, the realm exhausted, the nobility poor
and decayed. Want of good captains and soldiers.
The people out of order. Justice not executed.
All things dear. Excess in meat, drink and apparel.
Divisions among ourselves. Wars with France and Scotland.
The French king bestriding the realm, having one foot
in Calais and the other in Scotland.
Steadfast enmity but no steadfast friendship abroad.
Armagil Waad 1558.

Dyirbal, an Australian aboriginal language, has four linguistic categories for nouns:

  • men, kangaroos, fishing line, the moon, storms, rainbows and boomerangs
  • women, dogs, fireflies, water, fire, stars and the hairy mary grub
  • ferns, honey, cigarettes, wine and cake
  • meat, bees, the wind, mud, grass, stones and language itself
Devgenii Akrit
The Russian Digenes Akritas
Ὁ χρόνος εἴναι μάρμαρο Ὁ χρόνος εἴναι χιόνι
. . . oh the butter was yellow,
and the little round parrots
fell out of the trees

. . . about the owl . . .

Comrades! The uprising of the five kulak districts should be mercilessly suppresed. the interests of the entire revolution require this, because now "the last decisive battle" with the kulaks is underway everywhere. One must give an example.
1. Hang (hang without fail, so the people see) no fewer than one hundred known kulaks, rich men, bloodsuckers.
2. Publish their names.
3. Take from them all the grain.
4. Designate hostages -- as per yesterday's telegram.
Do it in such a way that for hundres of versts around, the people will see, tremble, know, shout: they are strangling and will strangle to death the bloodsucker kulaks.
Telegraph receipt and implementation.

Myth by Muriel Rukeyser

"Long afterward, Oedipus, old and blinded, walked the roads. He smelled a familiar smell. It was the Sphinx. Oedipus said, "I want to ask you one question. Why didn't I recognize my mother?" "You gave the wrong answer," said the Sphinx. "But that was what made everything possible," said Oedipus. "No," she said. "When I asked, What walks on four legs in the morning, two at noon, and three in the evening, you answered, Man. You didn't say anything about woman." "When you say Man," said Oedipus, "you include women too. Everyone knows that." She said, "That’s what you think.""

Theatrical inventory from 1598 noted by Meyerhold.

Item: one cliff, one dungeon, one hell-mouth, one Dido's tomb.
Item: eight pits, one ladder for Phaeton to ascend to heaven.
Item: two sponge-cakes and one city of Rome.
Item: one golden fleece, two gibbets, one laurel tree.
Item: one wooden vault of heaven, one head of hte prophet Mahomet.
Item: three heads of Cerberus, snakes from Faustus, one lion, two lion's heads, one big horse with legs.
Item: one pair of red gloves, three kings' crowns, one scaffold for the execution of John.
Item: one pot for boiling the Jew.
Item: four sets of vestments for Herod, one green cloak for Mariamne, one jacket for Eve, one costume for the Holy Spirit and three Spanish noble's hats.