I thought Homer coined that word and regarding that belief wagered with roommate who did not agree. I lose virtually all competitions with said woman, but didn’t worry about this one, because knew that her confidence would render the notion of research ridiculous and thus it’d been long forgotten.
Imagine, then, my amazement and dismay having just come across that word in a poem written by Joseph Brodsky in about 1975. From A Part of Speech:…After all these years it hardly matters who or what stands in the corner, hidden by heavy drapes, and your mind resounds not with a seraphic “doh” only their rustle. Life, that no one dares to appraise, like that gift horse’s mouth, bares its teeth in a grin at each encounter. What gets left of a man amounts to a part. To his spoken part. To a part of speech.
So I guess to Brodsky “doh” is almost a moment of awakening. Homer occasionally gets it, while most of the rest of us avoid the risk of introspection. Not all. Brodsky elsewhere wrote that: “The real history of consciousness begins with one’s first lie” referring to an incident in a library of his youth. Asked about his religion, he chose feign ignorance rather than respond with the Russian word for Jew which led to quite a stream of consciousness for a seven year old.
*Amazingly enough, I just recounted an incident of my youth in a library involving dishonesty. 10 18 13