What a sturdy square block of a thing you are! Such a fine, white, self-satisfied creature! Sometimes you stand dumb as a boulder or drop off into a cold sleep, or Sometimes your metal belly rumbles, but there's no point in working out your meaning. Of all machines the fridge must be the most good-natured; hog-fat and roomy as a snow-drift, it must be said to hold the purest heart. Firmly under human domination even the cold that creeps out from it is only a small cold blast, too small to threaten any freeze-up of our future. If ever robots rise in revolution, if ever they attack the human race, at least you refrigerators won't be amongst the ones to break the peace. For you are the house-dog of machinery a faithful and contented animal; so give your door a docile wag for Man, your living friend, and show him how you smile. by Борис Абрамович Слуцкий (Boris Abramovich Slutsky) (19??) translated by Elaine Feinstein
Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.
by Christina Rossetti (1830 – 1894)
Fun facts: She wrote the words of the Christmas carols “In the Bleak Midwinter”, set to a tune by Gustav Holst, and “Love Came Down at Christmas”. Also if you’re thinking ‘is she related to THE Rossetti?’ The answer is very likely yes. The family had a lot of connections and successful members.
The title of J.K. Rowling’s novel The Cuckoo’s Calling is based on a line in Rossetti’s poem A Dirge.