Bernada Siena

Morena's Surname

Still trying to decide on Morena's surname:
Zima is a Russian surname and it means winter but I suspect it's fairly common and thus not very suitable for the name of a royal family.
Zimales means winter forest, but I am not sure if that sounds like a surname to russian ears.
Like many pagan royal families (I have been reading Pindar's odes) Morena's family claims descent from some deity or demigod. I was originally thinking Leshy but apparently this is a demon and not a forest deity.
At some (probably the same time that Christianity was introduced in our world) the Tsar married a Nivkh or a Finn who introduced bear worship, and this was duly incorportaed into the mythology of the Severian royal family.
I could just keep her surname as Sever, since she belongs to the Severian clan and just as in our world the name Russia derives from the Kievan Rus (descendants of Rurikid), so it is with Morena's family.
Jan Van Eyck

Working on Morena's family tree

Morena Mstislavna Sever[1] born just before midnight on the 12/12/1569 Daughter of Mstislav Radomirovic Leshin/Leshev/Sever/Severian Grand Prince of Moskva/Tsar of Severia. Her Mother is Gabia Wojciechowska  Jagiellon of Lechia.

[1] I wanted her surname to be Berstuk, but this sounds too much like “Stark”, and anyway Berstuk was a Wendish, rather than Russian deity. On the basis that many pre-Christian kings claimed to be descended from Hercules/Horus/Woden, I wanted a surnamed that reflected the idea that  Morena’s  family claimed to be descended from a Leshy/Lesun. However, since IRL Russia is named after the Rus/Rurikid dynasty I thought perhaps Sever (after the Severian tribe), since Barry Buzhan shares his surname with the Buzhans (another early slavic tribe)

March 1567 Gabia Wojciechowska gives birth to Borislav Mstislav
12 June 1565 Gabia Wojciechowska  Jagiellon marries Mstislav Radomirovic

Gabia Wojciechowska  Jagiellon born to Wojciech Zygmuntowski Jagiellon and his as yet unknown wife.

October 1547
Wojciech Zygmuntowski Jagiellon marries one of these potential brides:
Nadzeya Ogińska of Vitebsk (Belarus)
Olga Zasławska of Iziaslav (Ukraine)
Bronislava Ostrogska of Ostroh (Ukraine)
Uladzimira Sapieha of Ruzhany (Belarus)
Pereyaslava Wiśniowiecka of Vyshnivets (Ukraine)
Vira Sanguszko of Volyn (Ukraine)
Bolesława of Masovia (Warsaw)-least likely.

1547 Mstislav Radomirovic born to Tsar Radomir Svyatoslavich  and Princess Endzela of Kartulia.

1541 Radomir Svyatoslavich marries Princess Endzela of Kartulia.

20/September/1527 Wojciech Olbracht born to Bona Sforza and Zygmunt I, King of Poland
1524 Radomir Svyatoslavich born to Grand Prince of Moskva Svyatoslav Vsevolodich and Çulpan Giray.
1521 Svyatoslav Vsevolodich marries Çulpan Geraylar in a marriage arranged by her brother Maktarga Khan Giray.

1507 Çulpan Geraylar/Giray born at Bağçasaray or Saray to Meñli Geraylar/Giray, Khagan of Kazan and Âktylyk/Tañ Patšabikə Khatun daughter of Timur ulym Aryslan, Bey of the Manghits.
December 1505 Svyatoslav born to Vsevolod Dažmilich and Snezhana of Tver
4/September/1505 Eirene Yarilovna Saburova marries Vsevolod Belodarich Rurikid
7/April/1503 Death of Sophie Palaiologina
1496 Vsevolod Belodarich/Dažmilich marries Snezhana of Tver
25/March/1479 Vsevolod Dažmilich born to Dažmil Vlastimirich and Sophie Palaiologina
Rogier Vander Weyden

The Menstrual Cycle of Adevărata Toggenburg

Given how much grief Implanon gave me, it should not be surprising that periods have worked their way into my story, the only question is: why did it take me so long?
Okay so when Morena finds a secret drawer in the carved Maramures wooden chest/nightside table, the contents are pretty boring: Romanian letters written by Lady Adevărata's mother Luminița, one letter in German from Lord Baldurgeb Toggenburg advising Adevărata what herbs his second wife, Lady Sappheire used when she was trying to get pregnant.*and a second letter, in Greek, from an Israeli lady doctor from the winter of 2306 Ab Urbe Condita/Kislev or Tevet 5314, advising Adevărata that she should wait seven days until after the end of her period to have sex, and also sending a complimentary a charm from Rachel's tomb.
However it is from here that Morena figures out that Lady
Adevărata had a thing for secrets, which is what leads her to discover the hidden compartment within the shelf inside the icon stand in the room's Red Corner. Here she finds a key. The key unlocks a hidden compartment behind the icon-diptych of Eileithyia and Lună** . Within which Morena finds Adevărata's "Period Poem", which is dated 11th of  Lenzmonat 2307 Ab Urbe Condita.
According to Babycenter's Ovulation tracker, if the first day of your last menstrual period was the 11th of March, then ovulation should occur between the 22nd of March and 27th of March.
I will say that Adevărata made love to Jovin, on the 25th of March. Which gives a due date of the 16th of December according to babycenter.

*The modern reader will learn the Aesop that "Herbal Medicine can kill you" from this. Since not only did they not help with pregnancy but they actually proved toxic.
Eileithyia was the goddess of childbirth Lună was the goddess of the moon, but when I googled menstruation deities, she seemed to be the closests Roman equivalent.

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Bernada Siena

Pride and Prejudice: Draft Essay

{C}(1)   Analyse your chosen novel from a feminist point of view. In what ways is it progressive? In what ways is it conservative or regressive?

Jane Austen is a complex author, at once conservative and progressive. She also makes heavy use of irony, so that it can be difficult to tell in which vein she is writing at a given moment.

Nevertheless she was first female writer to gain widespread popularity in her own time and remain remembered today. While Authors like Aphra Behn, Ann Radcliffe,  X and Y may have come earlier, they are not widely known outside literary circles, or in the case of Ann Radcliffe, many are only familiar with her because Austen chose to satirise her in Northanger Abbey. Thus whatever Austen’s views, be they progressive or regressive, she is significant in the history of feminist thought.

Certain aspects of the text are regressive: Austen would appear to have an ambiguous relationship with sexuality, in that she shows deep suspicion of female sexual desire (this she demonstrates with the character of Lydia, the silly girl who marries for lust) and this could be seen as a regressive perspective on sexuality.  Another aspect of the text that could be seen as regressive is the portrayal of Mrs Bennet: the character openly states the characters must marry marry quickly and preferably to a wealthy man. This Mrs Bennet does  because she is aware that without marriage her daughter’s will be left in penury, because the estate is entailed to prevent women from inheriting property, indeed Mrs Bennet is the only character who complains about the estate’s entailment.  yet rather than presenting Mrs Bennet as a woman pressuring her daughters to make hard and unpleasant choices in order to gain financial security-a not necessarily sympathetic portrayal such a portrayal would nevertheless give Mrs Bennet pragmatic wisdom, yet the text consistently presents Mrs Bennet as ridiculous, vulgar and silly. Austen treats Mrs Bennet and her advice as comedic, this seems strange as Austen- who was well read and lived herself in a reduced circumstances because of this patriarchal social system-was surely aware of that Mrs Bennet’s advice was pragmatic.  A final aspect of the novel that could be seen as regressive from a feminist point of view is that Lydia’s seduction by Mr Wickham occurs as a result of Mr Bennet’s neglect. Had Mr Bennet exerted more patriarchal control over the irresponsible and flightly Lydia, it would not have been possible for Mr Wickham to have seduced her in Brighton.

Nevertheless the thrust of Austen’s novel is feminist, albeit failing to meet the standards of modern feminism.

Although Austen never directly states that it is wrong or unfair that the Bennet sisters are unable to inherit their father’s entailed estate, and the text frequently ridicules Mrs Bennett who openly states that the Bennet sisters must marry or else be penniless after their father’s death.

“…many arguments in literary criticism that identify irony across the range of literature in English, from Chaucer and Shakespeare to Austen and Eliot. Here the irony can either lie in the situation, where what the character says is undermined by what they do or say elsewhere; or, the irony can li in the speech itself where the rhetoric is so excessive or clichéd that we suspect the author is ironising the characters own limited imaginations…However as in all literature, we are challenged as to where the irony lies: does the character intend the irony, by wanting to be understood as not praising marriage, or does (Colebrook, 2004, p. 10) Chaucer intend the irony, by suggesting that all such praises and eulogies will be undermined by real love and marriages? It is not just the context that gives away irony in this case. The speech is so excessive that even if there were no contextual clue we might suspect irony. Our context could be human life and marriage in general: could anyone really love his wife and marriage this much? If one did want to offer such an exceeding praise of love and do so sincerely, then we would not need a more elaborate context: say the plot of Romeo and Juliet where the circumstances and characters would seem to be able to mean and intend such words sincerely. And, as sincere, we cannot just use everyday language excessively. So, when we do hear characters using praise  in a clichéd but intense manner, we expect that te author wants us to hear more than or something other than, praise. The ironic meaning is, perhaps, ‘how ungrounded, sincere and empty all this excessive praise must be! The irony here does not lie in a single word but requires the whole passage to alert us that what is being said is not what is meant.” (Colebrook, 2004, p. 11)

“Against the use of ‘romanticism’ as a label to convey everything from Jane Austen  (1775-1817) to Blake, McGann suggests that we should ask  how the very idea of the ‘Romantic’ has been used  to mystify a range of texts and their social emergence.” (Colebrook, 2004, p. 92)

“Characters who feel they are elevated or above the trials of common life are frequently the objects of satire. The irony of a text like Gulliver’s Travels or even Pride and Prejudice (1813) is satirical. Gulliver has no sense of his implication in the contingency of human life; his blindness lies in his belief that he adopts a position or above life.

Not only does Jane Austen (1775-1817) parody the way in which we take our local sentiments for universal truths, she also displays the blindness of those characters who believe themselves to be in simple possession of either a moral law or a social code. Her novels not only portray the vanities and tendencies of human nature, they also present characters  who arrive at fulfilment only through knowing and reflecting upon the social nature of man. One cannot disengage oneself from human life and nature. For Austen, the art of fiction and the art of satire is also an art of recognition: examining the follies of others with a full perception of our own weakness. Satire assumes the common ground of ‘man and (Colebrook, 2004, p. 145) and therefore works against the traditional aim of irony an elevated or ‘urbane’ point of view and beyond natural life. (Colebrook, 2004, p. 146)

“Irony, as we have noted, produces and implies aesthetic distance: we imagine some authorial point of judgement that is other than the voice expressed. But the stylistic implications and complications of this distance also lead beyond irony. If it is the case that an author or speaker can be other than what they manifestly say, it is also the case that complex forms of irony can make the recognition and existence of this distanced authorial position impossible to determine. It may be the case that the text resists clearly elevated or distanced position from the discourse it expresses. What is implied, not said or other than the narration, is not some clearly perceived ironic position that ‘we’ might recognise, for such a point of elevated recognition is precisely what the structure of the text seeks to destroy.

Modernist free-indirect style moves well beyond the clear location of irony and earlier uses of what is now identified as free-indirect discourse. We might say that Austen had already used free-indirect style in Pride and Prejudice (1813), describing characters in the elevated, manufactured and obsequious tones they would themselves use. But we would also have to say that while Austen herself never speaks in the novel, all the voices and the dialogues that characters maintain with each other allow a social whole to emerge, where some characters speak with a sense of the social whole, and others merely repeat received values. Austen presents two styles of dialogue: characters who do nothing more than voice received opinions (including characters, such as Mr Bennet who continues to look at his wife as an object of ridicule and satire). Other characters, by contrast, speak with an openness to others, not merely judging what they say, but allowing their actions an characters to fill out a picture of personhood that lies beyond mere speech. It is the narrative of (Colebrook, 2004, p. 160)the novel, the structured description of actions, places and the changes of human relations that allows certain voices to be seen as sincere and open and others to be seen as mere rhetoric and dissimulation. The plot allows some characters to emerge as those who have been capable of insight and development, while others remain within the style of repetition and received ideas through which they were originally described.

Austen’s use of voices and dialogue is centred in some grounding value: the value of social dialogue and exchange itself, as opposed to merely received and repeated values. Her good characters alter their opinions and values when presented with contrary events; they speak with a view both to self-reflection and self-renewal, admitting that there is more to life than merely adhering to what one says. Good sense and character are social and stylistic. Characters with a sense of the social whole allow their moral discourse to alter, expose itself to definition and articulate questions of how one ought to speak. Both Elizabeth Bennett and Darcy develop an awareness of their place in the community and a recognition of the effects of their own speech.  By contrast, Austen presents characters who are nothing more than rigid representations of style: Mr Bennett’s satire, Mr Collins’s pomposity and Lady de Burgh’s ritual propriety. Such characters cling to their personality and style of speech as if it were nothing more than a social role or a play; they have no sense of creating themselves in relation to others, or of acting in ways that go  beyond mere social rule and expectation. Jane Austen’s use of free-indirect style is ironic: she speaks in the language of characters  and their received morality, but she also allows a higher point of view trough characters who speak sincerely with a sense of moral discourse as dialogue and question, rather than fashion or truths ‘universally acknowledge’. (Colebrook, 2004, p. 161)


Colebrook, C. (2004). Irony. Abingdon: Routledge.

Bernada Siena

Prune Tzimmes

Meat and Potato Stew with Prunes

Serves 8 or more

Tzimmes is a general term for a sweet vegetable or meat dish… It is traditionally served  for Sukkot, the harvest festival, which celebrates farming and nature and fruit picking, when fruit is the theme of meals taken in the festive booths. I wondered about adding sugar when I cooked it, but the result was very good.

·         1 kg (2lb) slightly fat beef brisket, flank or rolled rib

·         3 tablespoons chicken fat or oil

·         1 ½ large onions, coarsely chopped

·         Salt and pepper

·         1 teaspoon cinnamon

·         ½ teaspoon allspice

·         A good pinch of nutmeg

·         1 kg (2lb) new potatoes

·         500 gram (1lb) pitted prunes

·         2 tablespoons of sugar or to taste

In a heavy pan over medium heat, turn the meat in the fat or oil to brown it all over. Then remove it and fry the onions gently till soft.  Return the meat to the pan and cover with water. Season with salt and pepper, add the cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg, and simmer for 1 ½ hours. Add the potatoes and prunes and the sugar and more water to cover, and ¾ hour longer. You may want to have plenty of black pepper to balance the sweetness. There should be a lot of liquid.

Serve hot.


-          4 large carrots cut into pieces maybe added.

-          In America, sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, are used as an alternative to potatoes.

-          Add ½ teaspoons of ground ginger

-          Sweeten with 2 tablespoons of honey instead of sugar.

-          Some red wine could be added to the water. (Roden, The Book of Jewish Food, 1996, p. 121)


Roden, C. (1996). The Book of Jewish Food. London: Penguin Books.

Instead of adding all the spices and sugar separately, I just used some of the left over poudre douce which I got from the official Song of Ice and Fire Cookbook. It's slightly different from the spices that Claudia specifies, but I think it's more medieval and thus closer to what Atalya and Rudolph might eat.
I thought the meat would be as tough as leather, but it actually almost seemed to melt when I cut it up.


The Penguin Book of Hebrew Verse: I have just picked out my favourites

Heaven and Earth

I survey the heavens and the stars; I look at the earth with its creeping creatures; and I understand in my heart that they were all intricately fashioned. Look up at the sky—like a tent, whose clasps are joined to it by loops; the moon and its starts – like a shepherdess grazing her flock in a pasture; the moon among the sweeping clouds—like a ship sailing with raised pennants; a cloud –like a girl walking through a garden, watering the myrtles; a cloud of dew—like a maiden shaking the drops from her hair onto the ground. But the earth’s inhabitants are like an army pitching its tents for a night, looting the local granaries. And all flee before the terror of death—like a dove chased by a hawk. All are doomed to be like an earthenware plate which has been smashed to bits.

By Samuel Hanagid (993-1056){C} (Carmi 1981, 295){C}

Take Heart

In times of sorrow, take heart, even though you stand at death’s door: the candle flares up before it dies, and wounded lions roar.

By Samuel Hanagid (993-1056){C} (Carmi 1981, 296){C}

Winter Wine Song

Av has died and Elul has died, and so has their warmth. Tishri, too, has died and been gathered to them. The cold days have com, the must has grown red and is now silent in its barrel. Therefore, my friend, go find companions—and let each man fulfil his own desires! They said: ‘Behold the clouds pouring down, listen to the heavens thundering. See the frost and the tongues of fire: one falls down as the others rise and swirl. Arise drink from the cup, and then again out of the jug; drink night and day!’{C} (Carmi 1981, 296-297){C}

The Jasmine

Look at the jasmine, whose branches, leaves, and stems are green as chrysolite, whose flowers are white as rock crystal, whose tendrils are red as carnelian-like a white-faced youth whose hands are shedding the blood of innocent men.

By Samuel Hanagid (993-1056){C} (Carmi 1981, 297){C}

The Beautiful Boy

I would lay down my life for that gazelle (even though he betrayed me, my heart still keeps his love) who said to the rising moon: ‘You see my radiant face, and yet you dare to show yourself?’ And in the dark the moon looked like an emerald in the palm of a black girl.

Samuel Hanagid (993-1056){C} (Carmi 1981, 298){C}

The Narcissus

Lovely and fair, like blended perfumes and choicest spices; like richly coloured jugs; or like a bowl of gold in a bowl of silver: the one is like snow, and the other is like saffron and is encircled by six petals, as the Sabbath is by the week-days.

By Abraham Hakohen (fl early eleventh century) {C}(Carmi 1981, 304){C}

The Poet’s Illness

‘Your showers of tears, like a torrent, have made the plains rise like mountain ranges. Why not celebrate the grapevine, hy not sing the praises of wine, which could pursue your sorrows and make them flee as Jeroboam son of Nebat fled to Egypt?’

I answered him: ‘Yes, the heart forgets its trouble and rejoices in wine as does a man in riches. But disease has consumed my flesh and set the shreds of my body ablaze like brushwood.

[I have grown so thin] that a nose-ring could serve me as a crown and a ringlet as an ankle-band. Sickness burned my innards with fever like fire, till thought my bones would melt. Sores infested my innards and carried out Time’s orders faithfully. Bones that are filled with suffering –how should they not disintegrate? I rage against the disease that has wasted away my body. [It has made me so weak]  that a myrtle looks to me like an oak. And I rage agains the night that spreads out its tents of gloom.

Then when I asked: ‘How is the East robed?’, they answered: ‘Covered with blue and dawning light.’ And at last, when the dawn lifted its flags and raised its morning stars like banners, my innards were soothed, for they were filled with dew, and drops of water flowed upon me.

By Solomon Ibn Gabirol (c1021-c1058){C} (Carmi 1981, 307-308){C}

Earth’s Embroidery

With the ink of its showers and rians, with the quill of its lightning, with the hands of its clouds, winter wrote a letter upon the garden, in purple and blue. No artist could ever conceive the like of that. And this is why the earth, grown jealous of the sky, embroidered stars in the folds of the flower-beds.

By Solomon Ibn Gabirol (c1021-c1058) {C}(Carmi 1981, 310){C}

Tempest at Dawn

The heavy clouds of heaven lowed like oxen, for the winter was scowling with rage. They were like ship-masts driven on by a tempest, like captains sounding their horns in alarm. Then the face of heaven was darkened by fog, and the morning-stars stammered out their light. The sun bore the clouds on its wings over the earth, and when they burst open. How still they stood, how heavily they faced the earth, where once they were swift and flew like eagles! The wind beat the plates of rain, cut the cloud into strips which reached down to the abyss. The cloud and its battalions levelled the earth’s ridges, prepared its furrows for sowing. Then the harvest of the hills, hidden away, like a secret known to one man but not disclosed to the many, was revealed. All winter long its clouds wept until the trees of the filed, which had been dead, lived again.

By Solomon Ibn Gabirol (c1021-c1058){C} (Carmi 1981, 310-311){C}

The Fleas

And the fleas charge like war-horses; they swoop down like birds to devour my skin. They caper around me like he-goats, and rouse me out of sleep. I have become weary of killing both young and old to rout them; yet they know no fear. They are stout-hearted like warriors in battle who pluck up their courage when their comrades fall. Though they are a bit lazy during the day, when night comes they are as nimble as thieves. Day after day I loath them, and my hands are sick of killing them; but their bites have covered my flesh with sores that blossom like pomegranates. O god, wipe them out, for I am in anguish and cannot sleep—while they exult.

By Joseph ibn Sahl(died c 1123). {C}(Carmi 1981, 322){C}

The Rose/or The Lily

The garden put on a coat of many colours, and its grass garments like robes of brocade. All the trees dressed in chequered  tunics, and showed their wonders to every eye. The new blossoms all came forth in honour of Time renewed, came gaily to welcome him. But at their head advanced the rose, king of them all, for his throne was set on high. He came out from among the guard of leaves and cast aside his prison-clothes. Whoever does not drink his wine upon the rose-bed- that man will surely bear his guilt!

By Moses ibn Ezra (c1055-after 1135){C} (Carmi 1981, 323){C}

Wine Song For Spring

The cold season has slipped away like a shadow. Its rains are already gone, its chariots and its horsemen. Now the sun, in its ordained circuit, is at the sign of the Ram, like a king reclining on his couch. The hills have put on turbans of flowers, and the plain has robed itself in tunics of grass and herbs; it greets our nostrils with the incense hidden in its bosom all winter long.

Give me the cup that will enthrone my joy and banish sorrow from my heart. The wine is hot anger; temper its fierce fire with my tears. Beware of Fortune: her favours are like the venom of serpents, spiced with honey. But let your soul deceive itself and accept her goodness in the morning, even though you know that she will be treacherous at night.

Drink all day long, until the day wanes and the sun coats its silver with gold; and all night long, until the night flees like a Moor, while the hand of dawn grips its heel.

By Moses ibn Ezra (c1055-after 1135){C} (Carmi 1981, 323-324){C}

The Apple

Truly God created the apple only to delight those who smell and fondle it. Seeing how green and red are joined in it, I imagine it to be the faces of the wan lover and the blushing beloved. By Moses ibn Ezra (c1055-after 1135) {C}(Carmi 1981, 326){C}

To The Minstrel

Play for me, minstrel, for you vanquish my thoughts of grief and sorrow, and they disappear like a shadow. Your lute is like a leg joined to a hip, without a thigh to divide them. My heart leaps out to the lute’s strings—now some of them are in motion and some are at rest. I marvel at the grace of the plectrums which roam the lute and, keeping time, pounce upon the strings, then set them free. The melody and the gestures accord in measure and in number and have been established by veritable proof; they are the joy of desolate souls and they hover over the afflicted to shield them from torment. Now the doors of darkness are closed, and the heavenly dwellings open before the initiates. They ascend, without stairs, to the realm of souls, an cross the rivers of delight. Their thoughts become so pure that people almost say: the spirit of the Lord’s angels is resting upon them. The wretched rejoice with those who play the lute and pipe, finding relief from their tears. And only my pain persists: for my father’s sons who have perished and for my friends who have gone away.

By Moses ibn Ezra (c1055-after 1135){C} (Carmi 1981, 329){C}

The Ideal Woman

A mouth as round as a signet-ring, fit for a royal hand to seal with; teeth that are like crystals, or like pellets of hail as they fall to earth; also, a neck like the neck of a gazelle when it thirsts and lifts up its eyes to heaven; breasts like apples of henna, studded at their tips with a bit of myrrh; a belly like white dough or like a heap of wheat; a navel in her belly like a cistern, as though she were an empty well; very narrow hips, like the hips of a bee as it flits through the vineyard; legs like pillars, on which the thighs can rest, as well as ample buttocks; hands and feet that are both small and fresh, the feet like those of a young girl; wholly beautiful from head to foot, flawless, perfect; a woman resourceful and intelligent, whose equal cannot be found in the whole world; who during intercourse… on her bed; wise in the ways of the household; whose beauty and good sense are unrivalled; unique in the world—whoever falls in love with such a woman, how can he ever fall asleep at night?

By Anonymous.{C} (Carmi 1981, 360-361){C}

The Lightning

And the lightning laughs at the clouds, like a warrior who runs without growing weary or faint. Or like a night watchman who dozes off, then opens one eye for an instant, and shuts it.

By Judah Al-Ḥarizi (1165-1225)

The Sun

Look: the sun has spread its wings over the earth dispel the darkness. Like a great tree, with its roots in heaven, and its branches reaching down to the earth.

By Judah Al-Ḥarizi (1165-1225)

The Lute

Look: the lute sounds in the girl’s arms, delighting the heart with its beautiful voice. Like a baby crying in his mother’s arms, while she sings and laughs as he cries.

By Judah Al-Ḥarizi (1165-1225)

{C}(Carmi 1981, 389){C}

The Fate of the Adulterer

I shall now lament my desires, the silenced beat of my drum. Friends, my own sins deprived me of favours, so great were my offences. My merry harp was turned to mourning and my flute to the sound of weeping and lament, when my desire died and my passion vanished, when the gracious gifts of love came to an end.

The day was far gone, the shadows had fled, no wind stirred in the gardens. And my heart was filled with a sudden dread of death—what hope is there for an ass like me? Oh, my passion will set fire to the earth’s foundations, clouds will hover above my grave. And if I should die while still young, my complaints will accompany me down into Sheol.

In days gone by I was a hunter, hot in pursuit of desires. In all the provinces, [my lust] was likened to [the fires of] hell. But all those loves that had no virtue to them have now turned against me and fearfully disfigured me. The dust of my grave will be sent to foreign merchants, to be blended in cosmetics for pleasure-loving girls. From the boards of my coffin [they will concoct powders] for barren women, to have them bring forth sons and daughters. Of my maggots they will compound ointments for stammerers and mutes, to make them speak sevent tongues. My hair will serve as strings in musical instruments, which will then play sweetly without a player. My sash will be made into a loincloth for the adulterer, to put a stop to his fornicating and whoring. And all my belongings will be declared holy relics, and my clothes will be treasured as keepsakes. Oh, who will grind my bones as fine as dust before they are turned into icons?

May my words endow the fool with wisdom, and the young and wise with understanding!

By Isaac Hagorni (fl. Late thirteenth century) {C}(Carmi 1981, 397-399){C}

Spring Song

Winter is gone, gone is my sorrow. The fruit-tree is in flower, and my heart flowers with joy.

The spikenards as one, give forth their scent; the orchard of rare fruit is in full blossom. The hearts of friends are  filled with merriment. O hunted gazelle who escaped far from my hut, come back, come drink my mulled wine and my milk!

Sorrows fled the day the flower-beds revived, fenced in by myrtles, braided with embroideries. Swiftly, then, all cares took flight. I am surrounded by coffers full of perfumes, dripping liquid myrrh. The boughs of the nut-tree trail low along my couch.

Trees of delight sway among the shadows: cassia on the left, aloes on the right. With an emerald-coloured cup, ringed [with gold], and garnet coloured wine, mixed with dew, I shall forget the misery and grief hidden in my heart.

What made my beloved, who used to graze between my fawn [-like breasts], leave and take to the woods? Come to the arms of your dearest, who sings of her longing for you. O, my fair love, light the western lamp for me. In you towering cherub, my flame will burn anew.

By Nahum (? late thirteenth century){C}(Carmi 1981, 420-421){C}


{C}Carmi, T., ed. 1981. The Penguin Book of Hebrew Verse. London: Penguin Books.

Rogier Vander Weyden

Selection from the Heidelbeerger Liderhandschrift.

This voluminous manuscript was first discovered by the Romanic poet and journalist Joseph Görres in 1817. It comprises 179 pages with 205 songs, probably written down by two scribes. All songs were originally comprised prior to 1550, which we can confirm with the help of other songbooks written at a later date and which contain copies of songs borrowed from the Heidelberg manuscript. Not much further information about this songbook is available.
Heidelberg No. 83: Ach Gott, ich klag dir meine nott
1. Oh God, I lament about my misery to you:
I am so badly hurt that I almost die
And I have given up [all my hopes]
I thought I had chosen a dear lover,
But now he has abandoned me.
2. He loved me, he cherished me,
I did whatever his heart desired
In virtue and with honour—
[Now] he loves another [woman] much more than me,
He has left me behind, left me behind.
3. What good will your false trickery do to you, lad,
As you are so disloyal!
You need no longer wait for me!
I have known your betrayal for a long time,
Which hurt my heart, my mind, and senses.
4. If I had known your disloyalty before,
I would not have desired your love,
You have lied so often,
Go away, go away…
You are expelled from my heart, yes, from my heart.
5. She who sits on a thistle tree
And trusts young lads
Is unfortunately blinded:
You men are always true to your kind,
Weeds do not disappear from the garden.
6. Once I had an apple—it was delightful and red,
It has hurt me fatally,
There was a worm inside;
Forget about this red apple,
I must pluck it from my mind.
(Classen , 2004, pp. 31-32)

Classen , A. (2004). Late-Medieval German Women's Poetry: Secular and Religious Songs. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer.

What do you think the author of this poem meant when she said "She who sits on a thistle tree"? Also what is a thistle tree?
Jan Van Eyck

Critical Reflection of Judith Wright’s ‘Woman to Man’ and Oodgeroo Noonuccal’s ‘No More Boomerang’.

Judith Wright’s poem ‘Woman to Man’ is written by a woman to the father of her child as indicated by lines such as ‘This is our hunter and our chase, the third who lay in our embrace.’ (Wright, 1994, p. 27). The poem provides the title for Judith Wright’s second book of poetry, Woman to Man, which was published in 1949 (Wright, Papers of Judith Wright, 1949-1951 [manuscript], 1949). Judith gave birth to her first and only child, Meredith, a year later (Scenic Rim Regional Council, 2014).  It seems plausible that her experiences of pregnancy provide the impetus for the poem. 

Certainly the poem is resplendent with imagery that are subtly seem to relate to pregnancy and childbirth. In particular the poem expresses fears about the pregnancy and childbirth both with metaphor ‘build for its resurrection day-silent and swift  and deep from sight foresees the unimagined light.’ And with obvious statements about the birth itself ‘blind head butting at the dark, the blaze of light along the blade. Oh hold me, for I am afraid.’ (Wright, 1994).Nevertheless the poem still expresses the miracle of pregnancy and birth with metaphors such as ‘This is the blood’s wild tree that grows/ the intricate and folded rose.’ (Wright, 1994), whilst other lines express the love between the woman and the man with lines such as ‘This is the strength that your arm knows, the arc of flesh of that is my breast,’. The poem belongs to the early in the early part of Wright’s career, when her poetry was more lyrical, as Wright became more involved in activist causes, her poems tended more towards free verse, than rhyme and rhythm (Art's Reviews, 2007).

Fascinatingly, Wright and Noonuccal were friends, indeed it is Wright’s correspondence with Noonuccal that led Wright to become interested in Aboriginal Land Rights. (Scenic Rim Regional Council, 2014)If Wright’s poem is about the universal experience of pregnancy, then Noonuccal’s poem is about a more specifically indigenous experience. Nevertheless it does offer a critique of western civilization, capitalism in particular.

The poem makes extensive use of irony with lines such as ‘no more message-sticks; lubras and lads/ Got television now/Mostly ads.’ (Noonuccal, 1991, p. 96).  The line ‘lubras and lads’ echoes ‘boys and girls’ or ‘ladies and gentlemen’-which are often used to introduce pantomimes, circus performances and musicals- in western culture. These forms are often regarded as childish or at least low brow, and Noonuccal’s following line’s that imply television mostly consists of advertisements, in contrast perhaps to the more serious communications contained in message sticks. The poem also employs humour, such as the stanza ‘abstract picture now—/What they coming at? Cripes, in our caves we/did better than that.’ Lines such as these point out the ridiculousness of many of the West’s claims to cultural supremacy.

Critiques of capitalism are contained in the third stanza with lines such as  ‘No more sharing/ what the hunter brings./ Now we work for money,/Then pay it back for things’. This stanza contrasts the simplicity of sharing hunted game, to the pointlessness of working, only to spend all the money to buy material possessions. Further stanzas negatively contrast the free gunya, to the years spent paying off a bungalow. (Noonuccal, 1991) These arguments are difficult to argue with.


Art's Reviews. (2007, March 6). Retrieved from Poet's letters reveal cost of following her heart:

Noonuccal, O. (1991). No More Boomerang. In K. Goodwin, & A. Lawson (Eds.), The Macmillan Anthology of Australian Literature (pp. 95-96). South Melbourne: Macmillan.

Scenic Rim Regional Council. (2014). Scenic Rim. Retrieved from Tamborine Mountain inspired Judith Wright:

Wright, J. (1949). Papers of Judith Wright, 1949-1951 [manuscript]. Retrieved from National Library of Australia Catalogue:

Wright, J. (1994). Woman to Man. In Collected Poems (p. 27). Sydney: Angus & Robertson.

Paolo Uccello

Screenwriting Homework

Homework Exercise #1

The Matrix

Neo is the protagonist

·         The catalyst:

Neo accepts the Red Pill from Morpheus.

·         The crisis:

When Neo dies

·         The climax:

When Neo controls the Matrix (stops bullets in mid-air) and rescues Morpheus.

The Wizard of Oz: Do the Hero’s journey on the Wizard of Oz.

Homework Exercise #2 – The Hero’s Journey

Film:               The Wizard of Oz

Task:              Identify and describe the stages of the hero’s journey.


Dorothy’s life in Kansas living with her Aunt  Em and Uncle Henry and little dog Toto, who is in trouble because he has dug up Miss Gulch’s flowerbed.


Dorothy rescues Toto from Miss Gulch. Dorothy then runs away from home.


Professor Marvel convinces Dorothy to return home.


Dorothy meets Glinda, the good witch, who gives her the ruby slippers and tells her to follow the Yellow Brick Road.


When Dorothy Gale is caught up in the tornado.


When Dorothy helps the Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman they become her allies. When Dorothy stands up to the Cowardly Lion to protect Toto, he becomes her ally. The Wicked Witch of the West, Dorothy’s enemy, sends out various snares for Dorothy, such as the grumpy apple trees and the poppy field.


Dorothy’s arrival in Oz, but also when Dorothy and her allies are trying to sneak into Wicked Witch’s Castle.


When Dorothy and her friends are trapped by the Wicked Witch, who threatens to kill them one by one, before setting the Scarecrow on fire. To extinguish him Dorothy pours a bucket of water over him, which splashes the Wicked Witch, who dies slowly and horribly.

      REBIRTH

Dorothy asks the Witch’s green skinned guard for the broom. Also when Toto reveals that Wizard is just a little old man, who then gifts the Scarecrow with a diploma, the Cowardly Lion with a medal, and a windup heart for the Tin Woodsman. There is an element of satire in this.


The Wizard builds a hot-air balloon for Dorothy so that she can get back to Kansas. When Toto chases a woman’s cat, Dorothy runs after him and thus hot-air balloon flies off without Dorothy.


Dorothy’s hopes are dashed and it seems there is no way to get back. Then Glinda the Good Witch arrives and tells her to tap her ruby slippers together whilst chanting ‘there’s no place like home’.


Dorothy wakes up in bed in Kansas, and announces that she will never leave home again.

Introduction to Screenwriting & Introduction to Screenwriting G

Homework Exercise #3 – plotting, momentum & counterpoint

Muriel’s Wedding

Task:              Identify and articulate the sequence of positive and negative dramatic beats from the opening scene to when Muriel switchesDancing Queen” (10 mins approx)

{C}·         Positive: Muriel grabs the bouquet

{C}·         Negative: Cheryl, the other bridesmaids, and the bride (Tania) react negatively.

{C}·         Negative: Muriel throws the bouquet to Cheryl, who throws it back to her revealing that she and Shane broke up last night.

{C}·         Negative: the bride and the other bridesmaids run off to comfort Cheryl, blaming Muriel and accusing her of not buying a new dress.

{C}·         Positive: Muriel is given the cake, the lady tells her that she will dream of her future husband.

{C}·         Positive: Leo Higgins gives her his card, compliments her eye-catching dress, asking her to pass his card onto her father, Bill Heslop, whom he considers the best local council president.

{C}·         Negative: she then asks what happened to his nose, and a lady in glasses looks at her leopard print dress askance.

{C}·         Negative: Muriel catches Chook and Nicole having sex in the laundry.

{C}·         Negative: Muriel is arrested for stealing the leopard print dress. The woman with glasses was a store detective.

{C}·         Negative: Muriel’s lazy family (Penelope, Bill, Joanie, Perry and Malcolm) are rude to their mother Betty, ordering her about.

{C}·         Negative: Bill asks if Muriel stole the dress, and points out that she hasn’t had a job in two years and couldn’t have afforded it. Betty denies giving her the money for the dress. Bill tells Muriel to get the receipt.

{C}·         Negative: Joanie says “You’re terrible Muriel.”

{C}·         Positive: Bill schmoozes the police officers, so they don’t arrest Muriel.

{C}·         Negative: Muriel switches on Dancing Queen, her facial expression is one of pure dejection.

Hans Memling1470

Heilwig's Favourite Food: Gelbe Erbsensuppe, auf Berliner Art

Yellow Pea Soup, Berlin Style

“the least expensive version of this was Erbensuppe ohne—literally, pea soup without, meaning with no garnish. The most expensive had everything: ham, bits of bacon, slices of wurst, Spätzle or Sponge Dumplings, pages 60, 64.”

6 to 8 servings

{C}{C}·         {C}{C}½ pound/226.79 grams whole dried yellow peas (if you cannot get them whole, yellow split pas will do)

{C}{C}·         {C}{C}2 quarts/1.892 Litres water

{C}{C}·         {C}{C}Smoked ham bone with some meat on it, or smoked ham butt, or ½ pound smoked bacon cut into thin strips, or combine some ham and some bacon

{C}{C}·         {C}{C}2 tablespoons butter o 3 tablespoons rendered bacon fat

{C}{C}·         {C}{C}Pot vegetables with large onion, all finely diced

{C}{C}·         {C}{C}2 tablespoons flour

{C}{C}·         {C}{C}2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed

{C}{C}·         {C}{C}½ teaspoon marjoram

{C}{C}·         {C}{C}½ teaspoon thyme

{C}{C}·         {C}{C}Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse Peas and soak in water to cover overnight unless instructions on package say no soaking is necessary. Put in a 4 quart ot with 2 quarts water, using whatever is left of soaking water and adding additional amount if necessary. Add ham and/or bacon and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour. Heat butter or bacon fat in skillet, add diced and cook slowly until a deep golden colour. Sprinkle with flour and stir until it is absorbed and browned. Add flour-vegetable mixture to soup along with potatoes, marjoram, thyme, salt and pepper. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour, or until peas are soft enough to eat but not entirely dissolved. They should retain some of their shape. Do not strain or puree. Remove ham and/or bacon, cut into small pieces and return to soup. Discard bone if you have used one. If you want to use smoked sausage or frankfurter as a garnish, slice and heat in soup. Add Spätzle or Sponge Dumplings (pages 60, 64) before serving.{C}{C} (Sheraton, 1965, pp. 41-42){C}{C}

Sponge Dumplings

For 6 servings of Soup

{C}{C}·         {C}{C}½ cup water

{C}{C}·         {C}{C}1 tablespoon butter

{C}{C}·         {C}{C}3 tablespoons flour

{C}{C}·         {C}{C}Salt

{C}{C}·         {C}{C}2 eggs

Bring water to a boil and add butter. Cook slowly until butter has melted. Mix flour with a pinch of salt and put it, all at once, into butter-water mixture. Stir over low heat until dough forms a ball and leaves sides of pan. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Scoop off dumplings with wet teaspoon and drop into boiling salted water or soup stock. Cook about 10 minutes or until dumplings rise to top. Serve with chicken or beef broth, pea or tomato soup.


{C}{C}1.      {C}{C}To make tiny puffs for soup, put batter into pastry tube and squeeze them onto a buttered baking sheet. Bake in middle of 400˚oven about 10 minutes, or until puffs are golden brown. Just before serving, top individual bowls of soup with these.

{C}{C}2.      {C}{C}This same dough can make another, lighter version of Fried “Peas” on page 61. Make batter and drop little bits of it, from tip of a teaspoon, into hot frying oil or fat.

{C}{C}3.      {C}{C}To make cheese-flavoured dumplings, substitute ½ cup milk for water, and stir in 1 tablespoon grated cheddar or gruyere before adding butter. When both cheese and butter have melted, add flour and proceed.{C}{C} (Sheraton, 1965, pp. 64-65){C}{C}


{C}{C}Sheraton, M. (1965). The German Cookbook: A Complete Guide to Mastering Authentic German Cooking. New York: Random House.

I am going to make this dish on Friday. Wackily enough the first scene where I actually envisaged Heilwig, she was serving this soup to Morena and being a right TySan shipper (Which is to say being an awful cow by lecturing Morena on how she was shallow for not falling madly in love with a congenitally disabled, member of a family that was at war with Morena's own family, also her gaoler and member of an enemy nation) needless to say Heilwig has come a long way since then.