Revisiting ‘coprolite’

Looked up coprolite. (I had written somewhere that to know the meaning of a word like coprolite was a powerful ward against death — for how could one die while knowing something like that? — one merely held up this crystal as the vampire approached whereupon its aspect favorably changed, if it didn’t disappear entirely — and as fanciful as that was, I thought I’d better be certain of the definition, for I could easily envision a situation in which the vampire came up and I held up the crystal but no light burned from it because I’d forgotten or misremembered the definition — “fossilized dung.”)

Looked up Laurentia. Hadn’t known this ancient continent had been named after the St. Lawrence river which was in turn named after the actual Saint who I see got in trouble with the Roman authorities of his day for replying (when they asked him to turn over the wealth of the church) that the “poor of Rome constituted its wealth, its widows and virgins its pearls and jewels,” according to wikipedia, a point of view I found refreshing, as you don’t hear anyone credibly arguing it anymore, or not very often in public, that poverty is wealth and wealth poverty. (How blithely we consign ourselves to perdition, had said Melville, to paraphrase, when he contemplated the New Testament’s camel and needle metaphor.)

Looked up nozzle. Interesting. Diminutive of nose.

Looked up socket: spear head, plough share, hog snout. Hog snout ‘ploughs’ the ground? Spear head resembles plough? Spear head attached to spear by means of cavity or socket? Was prose essentially different from poetry? Proper ground on which to ask the question was Shakespeare: weren’t his prose passages as poetic as his metered ones?


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