The Paths of Survival

– the poetry of history –

Let Go Fear: Future Virgils

Creusa & AeneasTomorrow marks the eighth anniversary of my mother’s death. As anyone who has suffered a similar loss will know, this time has passed so slowly and at the same time so quickly too. Last year I published a sequence of thirty sonnets, Letting Go, which traced the process of bereavement after a sudden death, from the first days of dazed disbelief to some kind of final acceptance, both of which will clearly be different for everyone. Last month I wrote the Afterword for a vast new study, Virgil and his Translators, edited by the endlessly patient Susanna Braund and Zara Torlone, in which I discussed a few of the sonnets in Letting Go I had written out of passages from Virgil’s Aeneid.

One of these, ‘Let Go’, which comes towards the end of the sequence, is based on a passage from Virgil, Aeneid, 2.768-94. Here, as Aeneas desperately searches Troy for his missing wife Creusa, her ghost appears to him, telling him to move on to Rome without her. The sonnet is based on a real dream I had in a Bed and Breakfast in Norwich after speaking at a seminar at the University of East Anglia – the sort of dislocation, the waking in strange beds that those who travel often for work will recognise – in which my mum did appear to me, suddenly, out of crowds on a street. In ‘Let Go’ I voiced my narrative through Aeneas’s first person account. This was because I was looking to transgress/transcend gender, but also because I wanted Creusa’s ghost to become my mother’s – which, inevitably, then cast me, in turn, as Aeneas. I also liked the device of turning Creusa’s somewhat dark message into a hopeful, warm one as this reminded me so much of the sort of thing my mother would do – the sort of thing she would want to say to me if she could (if not necessarily encouraging me to found a city empire …). As I wrote in my Afterword for Virgil and his Translators it ‘seemed a fitting memorial to my mother’s always unwavering support of my ambitions’:


Let Go 

after Virgil

Those nights I called her name in vain again
and again, filled ruined cities with tears.
I dreamt I reached familiar streets, my fear
fixing tongue to roof of mouth, hair on end;
again she came to me through parted crowds,
smarter than ever in weathershield mac,
blood red lipstick and jaunty, matching hat
like a warrior plume. ‘I can’t stay long now,’
she said, ‘yet am always here. Remember
to hold your hopes close, guard your ambition.
Love. Travel. Most of all, let go anger
or this exile of grief will be too long.’
I tried and tried and tried to embrace her
but, like a thought on waking, she was gone.

Josephine Balmer

See also Letting Go: head versus heart, Mother’s Day and Family Histories
Agenda Letting Go coverVirgil and his translators




Revisiting Sappho

Sappho coverAs a translator, revisiting a text or series of texts you first worked on many years ago is always a fascinating – and daunting – task. This week Bloodaxe Books publish a new, revised edition of my Sappho: Poems and Fragments, which initially appeared with Brilliance Books in 1984, followed in 1992 by its first Bloodaxe edition. The new volume contains translations of several recent discoveries of fragments by the Greek poet, some of which offer rewritings and re-readings of previously known fragmentary poems. Others provide tantalising glimpses of  hitherto unknown fragments.

One of the new fragments in this latter group, fragment 16a (No. 124 in Sappho: Poems and Fragments), derives from a series of papyri acquired by the private Green Collection in Oklahoma City, and later published by Sappho textual scholar Dirk Obbink in 2014.  Its sparse eight lines could represent the opening stanzas of a new poem that followed fragment 16, the Ode to Anactoria, in textual editions. Alternatively, in his latest textual edition of the new fragments, Obbink has argued that this new piece might instead constitute a continuation of fragment 16 itself, a poem many editors had previously thought complete.

Whatever the truth, the new fragment’s opening stanza appears to chime with the theme and concerns of much of Sappho’s love poetry; the nature of desire and the ways in which the lover might find happiness. As Obbink has noted, it also features a typically Sapphic progression from generalised experience (‘No, it is not possible for anyone/to be completely happy…’) to that of the individual, whether or not identified as the poet herself.

kairosThe fragment’s second stanza is far more incomplete but nevertheless contains some startling images. In line 6 of the fragment the words ep’akras, or literally ‘on the edges’, could refer to a Greek expression for ‘on tiptoes’. The following line appears to have an equally arresting reference to chion, in Homer used of fallen snow. This could evoke the figure of Kairos or ‘Opportunity’, the concept of acting at the correct time or seizing the day, which in Greek art and mythology was often portrayed as a young man running on tiptoes. But ep’akras was also used of being ‘on the edge’ of a changing season, particularly spring, which chimed with the later mention of (perhaps melting) snow. In addition, the verb which Obbink reads as ebas, or ‘you went’ echoes the eba (‘she went’) used of Helen’s desertion of Paris in fragment 16. And so I added in some conjectures here to include the image of a lover leaving like fleeting snow in the spring:


No, it is not possible for anyone
to be completely happy. And so we pray
that we might have our own small share. I myself
bear witness to this…                                                                       

[Seize the fleeting moment as it] comes to pass…  
… you went away on the brink [of spring]….
….[vanished like the melting] snow. But she…
…many things….




The Librarians’ Power

book as kindlingThis week is National Libraries Week, a celebration of the wonderful work libraries – and their librarians – do over and over again, day in, day out, offering us all free access to books, especially in these times of increasingly severe local authority budget cuts.

From classical times onwards, this work has always been highly-valued and history resonates with the grief of the loss of such institutions. The story of the destruction of the first great library at Alexandria is told over and over again, if often by sources hostile to the alleged perpetrators. We learn of the accidental fire of Julius Caesar in 48 BCE, the supposed malicious damage of rioting Christian mobs in 391 CE or even the alleged burning of the last few remaining volumes in the city’s bathhouse furnaces by its Arab conqueror Amr ibn al-Asi in 642  (the last is almost certainly apocryphal). Whatever the cause, whatever the agenda of its chroniclers, this sense of horror at the loss of the written word reverberates through the centuries.

But such devastating, wholesale destruction is not confined to the classical or early medieval era. In 2003, during the Gulf War, the famed and ancient National Library of Baghdad was set on fire by a stray incendiary bomb, illustrating how the destruction of literary culture is, sadly, still relevant to us in the twenty-first century. And how we should never take our libraries for granted.

Apart from the National Library’s own important collections, such Arabic centers of learning have always been important in preserving classical literature over the centuries, particularly scientific works. And within such works of science, small snatches of more literary texts were often quoted – and so also saved. And again, in 2003, its determined and dedicated librarians battled to recover its precious, ancient books in the aftermath of the bomb.

The following poem from The Paths of Survival was inspired by an article by Zainab Bahrani with photographs by Roger LeMoyne in the US journal Document (Spring/Summer 2013), and gives voices to those amazing Baghdad Librarians:

The Librarians’ Power

(The National Library, Baghdad, 2003)

We carried what we could to safety.

They seemed like something living:
fungus on an oak, the pleated folds
of open mushroom cup, organisms
that were once books, manuscripts,
now debris of ‘precision’ incendiary.

To conserve them we needed ice
not fire. In a ruined kitchen cellar
we found a freezer but no power;
we canvassed, coaxed, cajoled
until locals offered the sacrifice
of their one precious generator.

We were asked why we struggled
to save books while all around us
so many of our citizens were lost.
We could only say that, if not flesh,
here were dividing cells, bare blocks
of collective memory. Conscience.

The vast record of all our knowledge
and of our faith: an ancient Quran,
the House of Wisdom we had built;
the learning we alone had salvaged
and then protected for the Greeks –
Ptolemy’s Almagest, science, medicine.

Those lost worlds were retrieved
in the flash of forceps, lifting piece
on tiny piece, word on broken word.
Our own enduring, unshakeable belief
that in each newly-deciphered letter
a poem waited to be recovered.

Josephine Balmer

Baghdad Library burnt books

Letting Go: heart versus head

Agenda Letting Go cover

In his dialogue Phaedrus, Plato characterised rational intellect and irrational emotion as two horses pulling a chariot which their struggling charioteer, or reason, is only able to steady if, of the two, the rational was allowed to prevail.As we would now say, a case of heart versus head. Publishing two books in as many months has, at times, seemed like being on a runaway chariot, particularly as each volume is so different from the other. The Paths of Survival, which came out in April, represents a series of third-person dramatic monologues exploring the loss of literary culture. And just published today by Agenda Editions, Letting Go offers a first-person sonnet sequence articulating my own deeply personal grief at the sudden death of my mother.

And yet, as Plato suggests, these two extremes represent two halves of one whole, the personal and the universal merging through the use of ancient texts, ancient myths and ancient history which act like Plato’s steadying charioteer of the soul. So both The Paths of Survival and now Letting Go explore the process of loss and gain; the frenzy of grief and the final acceptance of the stilled heart.

In Letting Go further dichotomies are established by the weaving of ‘original’ poetry and classical versions. The following poem, for instance, represents a scene familiar to anyone who anyone who has lost a beloved parent or partner:


Every day measures the same as the next…

 A few months later my father spread outmum's watch
some boxes on their bed – the jewellery
we’d helped him pick for anniversaries
and birthdays that we’d now no longer count.
I chose a pair of blue agate studs, sky
blanched, sea-washed, like her eyes. And her gold watch
so that I could still feel those same hours tick
on and on, the strict time that she’d lived by.
I wanted to think of her keeping score
of each lost second, holding that cold face
to the ear for one more, and then one more;
its hushed, imperceptible breath lasting
without end, nudging us back into place –
the soothing sound of her time still passing.

Here the ‘original’ sonnet is prefaced by a quote from the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus. A later sonnet in the sequence ghosts a passage from Plato, Symposium 179d; the philosopher condemns the poet Orpheus’ cowardice in travelling to the Underworld alive in order to rescue his dead wife Eurydice (rather than killing himself to join her there), attributing his failure, sent by the gods in punishment, to his lack of courage.

The passage struck a chord; a short while before my mother died, I’d had open by-pass surgery – which stops the heart, albeit briefly – for a rapidly deteriorating congenital condition. Following this, like any mum, she had called by daily to cheer me up and to help me do my everyday chores as I recuperated. Just over a year later she was gone, lost to her own undiagnosed heart condition.

And so, like ‘Cancel the Invite II’ from my earlier collection, Chasing Catullus, Plato’s harsh comments could mirror my own unease at being the one to pull through, as well as the crushing agony of any bereavement. In these lines, the philosophical, the rational, is couched in the emotional language of loss as each reflects on and informs the other:


after Plato

Orpheus2I knew the place already. Even if
for a second, I had been there myself
as my own heart was stopped and then started
again, healed. Perhaps that was why we failed,
could only grasp at the shadows of those
we had come to save, taking the coward’s
quest – or the poet’s – seeking out pathos,
regret’s raw matter, not willing to die
in our turn: tricksters who’d somehow contrived
a way to quit the gates of Hell alive.

So the gods sent punishment we deserved;
this quagmire grief that serves as its own curse.
The pain you cannot write through or by-pass.
That feels like too little love. Or too much.

You can buy Letting Go on Amazon here (if out of stock use PoetryBooksDirect in Marketplace) or direct from Agenda here





Final Sentence

 A tiny scrap of barely legible papyrus, now preserved in an Oxford library, has endured the long centuries since its inscription…


img_0296It is always a hugely exciting time when the hard work of several years is distilled into a written text. For this celebratory post on the publication of The Paths of Survival, as in the book, I’d like to begin at the end with a tattered piece of papyrus in the collection of an Oxford University library. Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 2256 contains nearly 90 scraps of papyrus. Of these, number 55 constitutes four, barely legible half-lines of  Aeschylus’ lost play Myrmidons. Part of its text could read ‘kata skoton’ or ‘into darkness’ – a snatch, maybe, of the lover’s lament Achilles murmurs over Patroclus’ dead body. Here is the homoerotic passion which later rendered Myrmidons such a difficult and controversial work, probably sealing its demise (and a link, too, to the copy my fictional scribe is making, centuries earlier, in ‘Blot’ and then its disposal on the rubbish piles of Oxyrynchus in ‘The Pagan’s Tip’) .

POxy 2256 frag 55 (2)It is, of course, heart-breaking that, along with a handful or so of similar fragments, this is all we have left of Aeschylus’ tragic masterpiece. It is also a warning that our own cultures might be far more fragile than we think. Yet in each small miracle of survival, there is always something to celebrate. For somehow, by judgement or by error but mostly through happenstance, something of the written text, of literary culture, however damaged, however minuscule, has managed to escape all those centuries of ignorance, war, persecution and destruction. Like the lined faces of  the old, each crease and blemish tells a unique story of experience and endurance. Proof that words can – and do – thrive where all else is lost.

Final Sentence

(Sackler Library, Oxford, Present Day)

Still I am drawn to it like breath to glass.
That ache of absence, wrench of nothingness,
stark lacunae we all must someday face.

I imagine its letters freshly seared;
a scribe sighing over ebbing taper,
impatient to earn night’s coming pleasures
as light seeped out of Alexandria.

But in these hushed corners of Oxford
Library afternoons, milky with dust,
the air is weighted down by accruing loss

and this displaced scrap of frayed papyrus
whose mutilated words can just be read,
one final, half-sentence: Into darkness…
Prophetic. Patient. Hanging by a thread.

Josephine Balmer

The Paths of Survival is published by Shearsman.  You can order a copy  here or here.


The Pagan’s Tip

A family in fourth century CE Oxyrhynchus decides it is time to dispose of their library of classical, pre-Christian texts…


romanshelf libraryIn my last post, a fictional Alexandrian scribe copied lines of Aeschylus’ Myrmidons for a cash-rich family from Oxyrhynchus. Here, in another poem from my forthcoming collection, The Paths of Survival, we move on in time another two centuries to find his customer’s descendants deciding that, in a Christian empire, it is time to make a gesture.

oxysite rubbish mounds at oxyrhynchusIn particular, they feel, it would be politic to dump the works in their treasured family library on the town rubbish tip – including the copies of Aeschylus’ tragedies our cantankerous scribe had worked so hard to produce for them. Here, of course, the papyri will later be excavated in tattered strips by late nineteenth and early twentieth century archaeologists, beginning the painstaking process of piecing what little might remain of those texts back together…:


The Pagan’s Tip
(Oxyrhynchus, Upper Egypt, 370)

Today we sacrificed our last bull –
not easy with just the five of us.
Walking back with Kallas, my cousin,
we both agreed it was time to stop.
Now, we said, we are all Christians.

That night I gathered up the volumes
my family had prized over the years:
philosophy, poetry, the great dramas
of Aeschylus, epigrams of Palladas –
works our ancestor had bought home
in triumph from a trip to Alexandria.

Those pages hold our history like maps.
If I run my fingers over the covers,
their gold letters and tooled leather,
I can trace the twisted paths of our past.
This is who we were and what we are:
grammarians, clerks, petty bureaucrats.

On the shelf I replaced each space
with Paul’s Epistles, all the Gospels.
Ours I took out beyond the walls
among the flies and rotting waste,
left them there for the rats to soil
like any piece of discarded refuse.

Do the same, if you want my advice.

Josephine Balmer

The Paths of Survival will be published by Shearsman on April 7th.


The Scribe’s Blot

A grumpy scribe finds solace in the Greek play he is copying – and two words in particular that will survive when the rest have been lost…


scribes anticaScribes are the unsung heroes of the survival of any classical work; without them there would be no written papyrus texts and codices, and hence no fragments of drama or poetry. We know that scribes often worked from ‘scriptoriums’, maybe booths or workshops in city marketplaces where customers might request a work to be copied for their private libraries.

But what did the scribes themselves feel about the work they copied – and sometimes saved -for posterity? In the following poem, from my new collection The Paths of Survival, a grumpy and rather troubled scribe from second century CE Alexandria  feels he is wasting his time as he copies Aeschylus’ Myrmidons – a difficult and by now increasingly obscure text – for a socially mobile client. He knows that they will almost certainly never read the play but instead be looking to impress their friends and neighbours with their highbrow taste (while the knowledge that his customer comes from Oxyrhynchus alerts us to the fact that, far in the future, the scribe’s hard-copied text will turn up in tatters, excavated from the rubbish tips of the ancient city). And yet, as he proceeds with his work, he finds echoes of his own sorrow in Aeschylus’ tragic play – and two words that will survive when the rest have been lost…


(Alexandria, 150)

It barely matters if I blot or blotch –
these days no one asks for Aeschylus.

As light fades I head for the streets –
a cheap tavern or the house of whores –
to scrub off this stain of guilt and remorse,
flaws that cling like yesterday’s rotten fish.
On mornings after, I retake my seat,
propping up each eyelid with stylus tip,
making errors I can later edit… 

And then, today, a buyer for my script:
some pompous provincial bureaucrat
up from Oxyrhynchus with hard cash,
back-handers he’s been itching to shift.
He claims he wants High Art, Myrmidons
(though he couldn’t tell drama from dog shit –

all he cares is how it looks on the shelf).

For him I etch these words of love and grief.
I think of my wife, dead after a few weeks;
there’d been a baby, some complication,
the pockmarked physician couldn’t tell which.
I came back one night and she was gone.

Into darkness… The skin I, too, must live in.
Mistakes uncorrected, holding the blame.

The only words left now to mask the pain.

   Josephine Balmer

(A longer version of this poem first appeared in Arion (24.2: Fall, 2016))




The Monastery’s Treasure

A tiny yet passionate fragment of Aeschylus’s lost drama Myrmidons is discovered in a surprising place…


zavordaIn 1959, a previously unknown edition of the ninth century Lexicon of Photius  was discovered at the remote Greek Orthodox Monastery of Zavorda in Macedonia, northern Greece (you can find an account of this by Roger Pearse here). This edition included some pages that were not available in other known editions of the Lexicon, all based on the Codex Galeanus, a 12th century parchment ms. of 149 leaves. Although the Zavorda manuscript is later than the Codex Galeanus, dating from the 13th-14th century, it is the only complete surviving manuscript of the text, containing additional pages and entries absent from other editions, including words beginning with alpha (άβ to άγ).

I was taken with the fact that these new extra pages include the Greek word abdeluktos which, as previously discussed,  Photius tells us means ‘without stain’ or ‘absolved of blame’. Unlike other, later sources, he also notes that it originates in a line from Aeschylus’s lost play Myrmidons, almost certainly as the grieving hero Achilles embraces the corpse of his slain lover Patroclus, exclaiming that such an act is not an abomination ‘because I love him’.

b15f7f0c9bf1b615d0536e1586c85870Photius’ Lexicon is not alone in surviving in the library of a Greek monastery; many works were taken to such safe places following political and religious upheavals in the east, for example after the sack of Constantinople by western soldiers during the so-called Fourth Crusade in 1204, as explored in an earlier post here. As well as marvelling at the tiny miracles and random happenstance at the heart of such textual survivals, I also wondered how the monks would have felt had they known that, for centuries, they had been custodians of evidence of such a passionate, later forbidden love.


The following poem, ‘Trespass’, from my collection, The Paths of Survival, explores that conundrum through the voice of an imaginary monk, forming a companion piece to Photius’s own voice in the poem ‘Gloss’.



(Monastery of Zavorda, Macedonia, 1959)

From the crag we watched as he drew
near, creeping closer like a contagion.
‘My son, we have been expecting you,’
our unsmiling abbot said in welcome.
From the cadence of his voice we knew
he was not talking of days or decades
but the dry passage of our centuries.
For weeks our guest rifled the libraries,
their rare treasures piled around him –
like a child’s toys or stored-up treats.

Now our abbot did not eat or sleep.
We saw the apprehension in his face
as if some half-recalled, splintered dream
had returned, long dreaded, to haunt him,
a fear he could barely form or elucidate.
Our guest found all he had come to seek:
a tattered codex wrapped round in rags
like some precious shard of brittle glass.
He put on his hat and coat, his work done,
a few more words for his literary canon:

Abdeluktos philo. Absolved because I loved him
Anathema. The taint of unconstrained sin –
a snatch of Aeschylus’s foul Myrmidons.
In its shadow we had held sacred homily,
called our brethren to vespers, benediction.
Now it was unleashed again, this heresy
we had guarded here without knowing
for so long. Unspeakable acts. Trespass.

We waited as he faded, a blur in the dark,
disappearing back into fold of river pass.

                                                  Josephine Balmer




The Patriarch’s Gloss

A rare Greek word – and a homoerotic line – from a lost tragedy,  preserved in a Lexicon compiled by an uncompromising Byzantine Pope, provides a link between atrocity, justification and language.


photiusPhotius I (later St Photius the Great) was a secular clerk who was appointed Patriarch (or Pope) of Byzantium in 858 following a time of often bloody religious schism in the city between the iconclasts, who wanted to destroy images of God as idolatrous, and the orthodox church, which viewed such depictions as holy relics. In 868 Photius was temporarily unseated but returned to the patriarchal throne in 877 when he continued his persecution of the city’s Jews.


phot-lexiconAt the same time, Photius was revered as a cultured man whose classical scholarship was second to none. His Lexicon, probably written in his youth and revised later, contains many rare Greek words and their usage, including abdeluktos, an adjective meaning something like ‘absolved of blame’. Photius tells us the word originates in a line from Aeschylus’s lost play Myrmidons, probably from a  scene in which the grieving hero Achilles caresses the body of his dead lover Patroclus. In recording it, this uncompromising Church father preserved perhaps one of the most controversial scraps of  Aeschylus’s tragedy for the future. The following sonnet from my new collection  The Paths of Survival (Shearsman, April 2017)  first appeared in New Statesman, and explores the link between atrocity, justification and language:


(Photius I, Byzantium, 858/877)


I worked my way up by my wits, from clerk
to city Patriarch. I corrected
each schism, effaced the iconoclasts
until our gilded streets turned black. And red.

In broken churches we counted the deaths.
I remembered a reed-slim boy of nine
or ten, the taste of his salt lips on mine –
weed-choked detritus dragged from Golden Horn.

Now terms were defined in my Lexicon.
I started with alpha: Abdeluktos.
Above blame. Any heretics tortured,
maimed. Absent of guilt. All Jews slaughtered.
[ᴂbdɛlʊktos]. A sword hissing through bone.
Absolved. Assaults washed clean by each fresh gloss.

Josephine Balmer



The Clerk’s Crusade

800px-PriseDeConstantinople1204PalmaLeJeuneEight hundred and twelve years ago to the day, on April 8th 1204, during the Fourth Crusade, the siege of Constantinople began. What distinguishes this Crusade is that, rather than a conflict between Christian and Muslim Arabs, it pitted Christian against Christian, as mutinous Crusader forces from the western or Latin church turned their attention on the eastern city of Constantinople, drawn, in part, by the booty to be looted from its famous riches.

With the help of a Venetian army, the Latins set up camp across the Golden Horn in Galata but, after an initial assault, were driven back by bad weather. On 12th April they launched another attack, this time breaching the city walls by burrowing holes just big enough for single soldiers to crawl through. For three days the Latins looted the city, destroying its Library and melting down its golden treasures to cart away. Thousands were killed or raped, churches were stripped of their holy treasures.

In the following poem, from my collection, The Paths of Survival, my clerk- narrator is fictional but the incidents he describes are based on contemporary eye-witness accounts, including the rather ignominious departure of the city’s aristocracy. And yet they, like my anonymous clerk, were probably responsible for saving many great works of literature from the city, taking them away with them to Nicaea,  where the Byzantines established new empire states, or the safe hiding places of monasteries in Greece.


 The Clerk’s Crusade
                     (Constantinople, 12th April 1204)

The first thing we noticed was mortar
crumbling, sand trickling from a stone.
Even rats, the Captain shrugged, get restless
under siege, gnawed by our same hunger.
The guards returned to their next throw
of dice. And I slunk back to Library desk.

We could not know, did not even guess
our city was already falling, already ash.

Next day we all saw it, the slab shift
and slowly tilt. We stood transfixed
as a single block of wall rolled back
and chasm opened where it collapsed;
ten withered fingers gripped the edge,
then Crusader helmet on Crusader head.
Our captain gave orders. On cue we fled.

That night Byzantium was melted down.
Everything they could move, they took.
All else was toppled into steaming pots,
vast statues shrunk to stumps of bronze,
for each piece of tessera, another life lost. 

Myself, I looted what they overlooked.

As Latin bishops stripped our churches
of jewels, I stuffed my splattered jerkin
with a few foxed and battered books:
Photius’s Lexicon, Lucian, Athenaeus.
Here was no Holy War but Christian
against Christian, West against East.
Better the Saracens. They had belief.

I ran back through the streets, slipping
on spilt blood, fresh excrement, filth.
Far off, a woman sobbed, out of reach.
I squeezed out through the breach,
a conqueror in reverse. For in Nicaea
or the monasteries of Thessalonica,
we would soon found another empire.

Our nobles crept away like thieves
as the Latins jeered, waving inkpots,
quills – the weapons not of warriors
but meek scholars, they hissed.

                                               Let them mock.

Where they had cruelty, we had culture.
Where they had greed, we had Greek.

                                                      Josephine Balmer




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