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Old English etymology of blancwene:

blanca n.
1. white (or grey) horse

cwēn n.
1. woman (Seo clæneste cwen ofer eorþan: the purest woman on earth.)
2. wife
3. queen (Aðelwulf cyng Carles dohtor hæfde to cwene: King Athelwulf took Charles's daughter as his queen.)


***


Soldier, there is a war between the mind
And sky, between thought and day and night. It is
For that the poet is always in the sun,

Patches the moon together in his room
To his Virgilian cadences, up down,
Up down. It is a war that never ends.

Yet it depends on yours. The two are one.
They are a plural, a right and left, a pair,
Two parallels that meet if only in

The meeting of their shadows or that meet
In a book in a barrack, a letter from Malay.
But your war ends. And after it you return

With six meats and twelve wines or else without
To walk another room...Monsieur and comrade,
The soldier is poor without the poet's lines,

His petty syllabi, the sounds that stick,
Inevitably modulating, in the blood.
And war for war, each has its gallant kind.

How simply the fictive hero becomes real;
How gladly with proper words the soldier dies,
If he must, or lives on the bread of faithful speech.


--from "Notes Towards a Supreme Fiction" by Wallace Stevens


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///\\\

It is always remarkable when someone sees your soul to a better degree than you see it yourself. You could count the people who see your soul on one hand. Others might know you but they would forget; their knowledge of you was like a weak and undisciplined thing. But that wasn’t so with him. He didn’t forget. It stuck in his mind. He had seen a kindred soul. He had seen it long ago. She only saw it now. But she was stricken with it. Suddenly she had identified him. There was the man she loved. As a result, she proceeded dementedly to behave as if the opposite were true.

–Nancy Lemann, The Fiery Pantheon

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