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Chapter & Verse

Correspondence on not-so-famous lost words

May-June 2008

Michael Comenetz asks if the phrase “Galloping Gordon,” sometimes applied to British prime minister Gordon Brown, originated with the line from a 1950s advertising jingle for Cheerios: “Galloping Gordon sets the pace.”

Nat Kuhn would like to know who said or wrote, "The task of the Christian is to hold opposites in the heart until the Third Thing comes." He recalls hearing the statement in the early 1980s, when it was attributed to a female theologian.

David Keyes asks for the source of “Mathematics is the music of the mind. Music is the mathematics of the soul.”

Daniel Greenfield requests a source for “carving nature at her joints”—referring to accurate scientific understanding of the mechanism of normal and abnormal biological events and the anatomy and structure of biological entities.

Michelle Coughlin seeks the author of a short poem beginning “Wentworth, sure/ t’was some stranger” and ending “Scorched by a fever/he refined his breath,/and paid that stated/homage unto death.”

“…where were you?” (March-April). Neil Averitt cited Job 38:4 (“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?”). But half-remembered poems can trick the memory. The query’s reference to Mark van Doren prompted M.J. Porter to send in “Farewell and Thanksgiving,” a brief van Doren work in which the fourth line of 10 reads, “You were always there….” Porter characterized the suggestion as “Close, but no cigar,” but it turned out to be the poem our reader sought.