Search: poem excelsior
Why: In Breakfast of Champions, p. 171:
And then Trout saw that a simple fire extinguisher in the Galaxie had this brand name:Answer: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's 1841 short poem Excelsior. Here's an excerpt!
As far as Trout knew, this word meant higher in a dead language. It was also a thing a fictitious mountain climber in a famous poem kept yelling as he disappeared into a blizzard up above.
"Try not the Pass!" the old man said;Source: ReadBooksOnline
"Dark lowers the tempest overhead,
The roaring torrent is deep and wide!"
And loud that clarion voice replied,
"O stay," the maiden said, "and rest
Thy weary head upon this breast!"
A tear stood in his bright blue eye,
But still he answered, with a sigh,
The More You Know: The title of Excelsior was reportedly inspired by the state seal of New York, which bears the Latin motto Excelsior. Longfellow had seen it earlier on a scrap of newspaper.