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Today's Stichomancy for Robert Redford

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The United States Bill of Rights:

Ratified December 15, 1791


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

III No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house,

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Voice of the City by O. Henry:

fight victor by a fortune and a reputation. On the other band, he was swallowed up by the city. The city gave him what he demanded and then branded him with its brand. It remodelled, cut, trimmed and stamped him to the pattern it approves. It opened its social gates to him and shut him in on a close- cropped, formal lawn with the select herd of rumi- nants. In dress, habits, manners, provincialism, routine and narrowness he acquired that charming in- solence, that irritating completeness, that sophisti- cated crassness, that overbalanced poise that makes

The Voice of the City
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Amazing Interlude by Mary Roberts Rinehart:

"I - alone!" she said in a queer choking voice. "And what about you? It is you who have made it possible."

But Henri was looking down the street to where the row of poplars hid what lay beyond. Far beyond a star shell had risen above the flat fields and floated there, a pure and lovely thing, shedding its white light over the terrain below. It gleamed for some thirty seconds and went out.

"Like that!" Henri said to her, but in French. "Like that you are to me. Bright and shining - and so soon gone."

Sara Lee thought he had asked her if she was cold.


The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from Phantasmagoria and Other Poems by Lewis Carroll:

They whet the appetite: But if you lay them on too thick, You spoil the matter quite!

"Last, as to the arrangement: Your reader, you should show him, Must take what information he Can get, and look for no im- mature disclosure of the drift And purpose of your poem.

"Therefore, to test his patience - How much he can endure -