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Today's Stichomancy for Muhammad Ali

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Love Songs by Sara Teasdale:

When he harkens what you say, Bid him, lest he miss me, Leave his work or leave his play, And kiss me, kiss me, kiss me!


Pierrot stands in the garden Beneath a waning moon, And on his lute he fashions A fragile silver tune.

Pierrot plays in the garden, He thinks he plays for me,

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Hermione's Little Group of Serious Thinkers by Don Marquis:

to them for that, no matter what they may have done with him after they invented him. . . .

I used to be quite taken with the Superman, you know. . . . Really, I didn't recognize how dan- gerous he might become. . . .

I didn't know he was German at all when we took him up. . . .

Have you read anything about the Blond Beast?

I felt rather attracted toward him for a long time myself . . . until lately. . . . But the attrac- tion passed. . . . I'm not brunette, you know, at

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Charmides and Other Poems by Oscar Wilde:

And cried, 'Awake, already the pale moon Washes the trees with silver, and the wave Creeps grey and chilly up this sandy dune, The croaking frogs are out, and from the cave The nightjar shrieks, the fluttering bats repass, And the brown stoat with hollow flanks creeps through the dusky grass.

Nay, though thou art a god, be not so coy, For in yon stream there is a little reed That often whispers how a lovely boy Lay with her once upon a grassy mead,

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 A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe:

imposed upon by all sorts of pretenders and by every mountebank. There is no doubt but these quacking sort of fellows raised great gains out of the miserable people, for we daily found the crowds that ran after them were infinitely greater, and their doors were more thronged than those of Dr Brooks, Dr Upton, Dr Hodges, Dr Berwick, or any, though the most famous men of the time. I And I was told that some of them got five pounds a day by their physic.

But there was still another madness beyond all this, which may serve to give an idea of the distracted humour of the poor people at that time: and this was their following a worse sort of deceivers than any of these; for these petty thieves only deluded them to pick their

A Journal of the Plague Year