Early example of noise art in literature!

This is the kind of stuff I absolutely love– a song (which basically amounts to a fun bit of dada/noise– comprised of Washington state town names. I found this in “Free Air,” by Sinclair Lewis. This was far too long for Twitter, but if you like this sort of thing, be sure to check out my “Litnoise” page.

“…Claire combined the town-names in a lyric so emotion-stirring that it ought, perhaps, to be the national anthem. It ran:

Humptulips, Tum Tum, Moclips, Yelm,
Satsop, Bucoda, Omak, Enumclaw,
Tillicum, Bossburg, Chettlo, Chattaroy,
Zillah, Selah, Cowiche, Keechelus,
Bluestem, Bluelight, Onion Creek, Sockeye,
Antwine, Chopaka, Startup, Kapowsin,
Skamokawa, Sixprong, Pysht!

Klickitat, Kittitas, Spangle, Cedonia,
Pe Ell, Cle Elum, Sallal, Chimacum,
Index, Taholah, Synarep, Puyallup,
Wallula, Wawawai, Wauconda, Washougal,
Walla Walla, Washtucna, Wahluke,
Solkulk, Newaukum, Wahkiakus,
Penawawa, Ohop, Ladd!

Harrah, Olalla, Umtanum, Chuckanut,
Soap Lake, Loon Lake, Addy, Ace, Usk,
Chillowist, Moxee City, Yellepit, Cashup,
Moonax, Mabton, Tolt, Mukilteo,
Poulsbo, Toppenish, Whetstone, Inchelium,
Fishtrap, Carnation, Shine, Monte Cristo,
Conconully, Roza, Maud!

China Bend, Zumwalt, Sapolil, Riffle,
Touchet, Chesaw, Chew, Klum, Bly,
Humorist, Hammer, Nooksack, Oso,
Samamish, Dusty, Tiger, Turk, Dot,
Scenic, Tekoa, Nellita, Attalia,
Steilacoom, Tweedle, Ruff, Lisabeula,
Latah, Peola, Towal, Eltopia,
Steptoe, Pluvius, Sol Duc, Twisp!”

Wouldn’t this be a great basis for a 7″ record? I might just do it!

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