Since this is a family-safe blog, I generally keep curse words to a minimum. I personally don’t mind using, seeing, or hearing them, but I know there are folks who hate them. For this story, however, I
respectfully ask those who aren’t fond of naughty words to either look away or increase their tolerance a bit.
Back when I was still in college, I loaded up on various literature courses. At that point in my life, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do, so I thought exploration would be a good idea.
One such course was on international poetry. The piece I remember most clearly was a beautiful Japanese poem.
The poet created a gorgeous setting, full of flowing water, graceful trees kissing the pristine surface, refreshing breezes and peaceful wildlife. There was one thing that confused me to no end.
This poet kept repeating the word “crap” throughout the verses. I couldn’t figure out what was so great about that word. Was there some section of Japanese culture I didn’t know about? Were turds floating down a creek considered beautiful at one time?
Finally, I got so confused that I had to get my study partner’s attention. “Hey. I don’t understand something about this poem.”
The young woman gave me a puzzled look, but indulged my apparently unwarranted confusion. “What’s the matter?”
“Why does he keep putting ‘crap’ into the poem?” I could feel my face heating up when I asked. It was a strange question, but I couldn’t figure out how else to phrase it.
My partner stared at me for several more minutes, then looked down at her copy of the poem, and then back at me again. “I don’t see crap anywhere.”
“What do you mean? It’s right -” I looked down at my book, intent upon pointing the obvious out to her. The problem is, when I searched for the offending word, the closest I could come up with was ‘carp’.
Well, that changed things completely.