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Today's Stichomancy for Shakira

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Man against the Sky by Edwin Arlington Robinson:

A pleasant animal with no great noise Or nonsense anywhere to set him off -- Save only divers and inclement devils Have made of late his heart their dwelling place. A flame half ready to fly out sometimes At some annoyance may be fanned up in him, But soon it falls, and when it falls goes out; He knows how little room there is in there For crude and futile animosities, And how much for the joy of being whole, And how much for long sorrow and old pain.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Dark Lady of the Sonnets by George Bernard Shaw:

THE LADY. Gramercy for your sermon, sir. I hope I know my duty.

THE MAN. This is no sermon, but the living truth. The power I speak of is the power of immortal poesy. For know that vile as this world is, and worms as we are, you have but to invest all this vileness with a magical garment of words to transfigure us and uplift our souls til earth flowers into a million heavens.

THE LADY. You spoil your heaven with your million. You are extravagant. Observe some measure in your speech.

THE MAN. You speak now as Ben does.

THE LADY. And who, pray, is Ben?

THE MAN. A learned bricklayer who thinks that the sky is at the top

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from An Open Letter on Translating by Dr. Martin Luther:

nothing there but "districte precipiendo mandamus" ["we teach and strictly command"]. That has been your Holy Spirit. Christendom has had to suffer this tyranny. This tyranny has robbed it of the sacrament and, not by its own fault, has been held in captivity. And still the asses would pawn of on us this intolerable tyranny of their own wickedness as a willing act and example of Christendom - and thereby acquit themselves!

But this is getting too long. Let this be enough of an answer to your questions for now. More another time. Excuse this long letter. Christ our Lord be with us all. Amen.

Martin Luther,

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 The Crisis in Russia by Arthur Ransome:

suggesting the most horrible possibilities of official art under socialism, although, of course, bad art flourishes pretty well even under other systems.

I inquired exactly how Burov and his friends kept the artists in the right way, and received the fullest explanation. The political section of the organization works out the main idea and aim for each picture, which covers the whole side of a wagon. This idea is then submitted to a "collective" of artists, who are jointly responsible for its realization in paint. The artists compete with each other for a prize which is awarded for the best