Meaning: 'dark twist' AND 'every chin turns away'

Dear Teachers,

I read these 2 sentences:

“I was a dark twist of child hiding behind my father.”
What does it mean by “a dark twist” of child?

“It is 1502 … every chin in Europe turns away from Byzantium and toward Lisboa and Castile.”

What does “every chin turns away” mean?



If every chin in the hall started to turn towards the screaming woman, it means that every person present in the hall started to look at the screaming woman.


A dark twist of a child could be a whirlwind of a child, that is, a very active child with dark hair and complexion. A twist is also a braid, so perhaps it’s a dark girl who is all braids! Another possible option is a dark child twisting or writhing. However, if the child was hiding, it would hardly do that.

Hi Conchita

What about the use of “twist” to possibly describe the posture of a child hiding behind someone? I mean, when a child hides behind an adult, most of the child’s body might be directly behind the adult, but often the head, neck and shoulders would be “twisted” to the side in order to still be able to see what’s going on. I can imagine this as a possibility, too.


Absolutely, and it’s so childlike, too! Have you seen an adult trying to imitate a child? All this hand-wringing, shoulder-shrugging, face-pulling, jumping around, etc.! I once read somewhere that it takes an athlete to imitate a young child’s movements for a whole day (it doesn’t even have to be a hyperactive one). How’s that for exercise :slight_smile: ?