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November 1974

Omphalosophy: An Inquiry into the Inner (and Outer) Significance of the Belly Button

Arch Intern Med. 1974;134(5):866-870. doi:10.1001/archinte.1974.00320230076018

INTRODUCTION  My mission here with you tonight is to describe the true new lightWhich scientific scrutiny discloses for your joyOr sorrow, as the case may be. Research in some a chase may seeFor others it epitomizes effort that may cloy.The theme for my meanderings, my goosings and my ganderings,Will be the human navel and the mystery it conceals— Umbilicate and omphalite, in muted or triumphal light,Expose the human midriff for the story it reveals.

DEFINITION  I disgrace this high position if I fail in definitionAnd the dictionaries tell us that the navel is a hub.Is your head with feeling, reeling from your navel's freer wheelingAnd is borborygmos whirling underneath your central nub?Many Greeks receive ovation for their words by derivationAnd old scholars have decoded what was meant by omphalosTwas a purse-string-get-together of the helmet's plume and featherAnd

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