I walked down to the new Corner location of Revolutionary Soup for lunch today. I’d never been there before, but I’d heard great things. As they say, the food “did not disappoint.” But more importantly there is an English Major Discount if you can recite 3 lines of poetry from the poet of the day. Today’s poet was T.S. Eliot. I could not think of 3 sequential lines of Eliot (I did not, however, ask if they had to be sequential). I even tried extrapolating Eliot from my incomplete knowledge of the Cats libretto. I should be tossed out of the English Department on my ass this very day.
I don’t memorize poems; I don’t remember historical or biographical data, I don’t generally look at author photos unless they’re on the cover, staring me in the face. I put my mental energy into learning to think, to select and gracefully utilize the appropriate analytical tools for anything put in front of me. The rest is just data– you can always look that up. Even so, I should be able to remember 3 lines of Eliot.
So now I am listening to The Waste Land on tape.
As for the discount, luckily you could get the same discount (20%) for “bringing in an original poem,” so I tore out the worst piece of shit from my sketchbook (which I always have onhand). That piece of paper was worth $1. Nice.