Chapter & Verse

A correspondence corner for not-so-famous lost words

Dale Higbee hopes to learn the source of a comment by Archibald MacLeish: “We know all the answers; it’s the questions we don’t know.”

Alethea Black requests the title and author of a poem about how life would be if we grew younger over time. The last line is, “And suffering, of course, is joy.”

Karl Engelman asks if anyone can identify an “insightful commentary” that defines conversation between two people as, in fact, an interaction among six participants, with each side consisting of the person speaking, the person the speaker thinks he is, and the person the other speaker thinks the first speaker is.

“Rooty-toot-toot” (November-December 2005). David Challinor, whose father was in the first graduating class of Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon), in 1908, recalls hearing this verse sung in Pittsburgh in the 1920s. But Catherine Dwyer and other fans of Rice University (“Institute” until 1960; opened in 1912) vehemently claimed this variant of what may be an old Boy Scout cheer. (Robert Bradbury supplied a traditional last line, rendered in falsetto: “Our class won the bible!”) Among other candidates: the city jail and MIT.



Send inquiries and answers to “Chapter and Verse,” Harvard Magazine, 7 Ware Street, Cambridge 02138.

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