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Child of the Northern Spring

image“The cheesemaker’s daughter and I were inseparable: nipping into and out of each other’s households as if we were fosterlings… climbing through the tall apple trees to gather the last of the fruit that still hung there… running to the gate as the hunting party brought in a full-sized boar, slung on a pole between two warriors… milking the cows as they grazed in the field or skimming the risen cream from the flat stone basins in the dairy yard.  And everywhere we turned there were apples…”

  • Child of the Northern Spring by Persia Woolley

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Genesis

image“When God began to create heaven and earth, and the earth then was welter and waste and darkness over the deep and God’s breath hovering over the waters, God said, ‘Let there be light.’  And there was light.”

*welter and waste. The Hebrew thou wabohu occurs only here and in two later biblical texts that are clearly alluding to this one.  The second word of the pair looks like a nonce term coined to rhyme with the first and to reinforce it, an effect I have tried to approximate in English by alliteration.  Thou by itself means emptiness or futility, and in some contexts is associated with the trackless vacancy of the desert.

– Genesis 1:1, translated by Robert Alter, with commentary

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Niels Lyhne

“It was not a disheveled, meaningless rush of emotions and moods; love was like nature, eternally changing and eternally giving birth, and no mood died away, no feelings withered except to give life to the seedling they bore within, to something even more perfect… And the days fell new and glistening from heaven itself now, not dragging by as a matter of course, one after the other like the worn out pictures in a stereoscope: every one of them was a revelation, for on each day he found himself greater and stronger and more distinguished.”

Niels Lyhne, by Jens Peter Jacobsen, translated by Tiina Nunnally

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