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Chapter and Verse

Correspondence on not-so-famous lost words

May-June 2019

Diana Amsden writes, “Years ago, I believe I saw a silent-film scene of a woman, seen from behind, desperately pounding her fists on a huge city gate, and finally collapsing to her knees. Can anyone identify the movie?”

Jerry Kelley hopes that someone can identify a couplet he heard 50 years ago: “And he died as he lived, in a rich man’s garret, / In a borrowed shirt, and drinking claret.” He has searched for a source in vain ever since; his only clue—“likely a red herring”—is that the person who quoted the couplet also quoted lines he identified as written by Vachel Lindsay.

“The Game” (January-February 2011). Jonas Peter Akins, who asked eight years ago, to no avail, about a poem suggesting that “The Game releases us, changed and changeless, into the November evening,” possibly written by David T.W. McCord ’21, A.M. ’22, L.H.D. ’56, has now answered his own question: “In the coverage of the fiftieth anniversary of Harvard’s triumph over Yale, by that now familiar score, I found that the line was actually written by Roger Angell ’42, in a remembrance for the Harvard Football News of November 18, 1978. Angell was better, unsurprisingly, than my memory. ‘The Game picks us up each November and holds us for two hours and then releases us into the early darkness of winter, and all of us, homeward bound, sense that we are different yet still the same. It is magic.’ And so it is.”

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