May 23: Get Out Your Handkerchiefs


Kind of a getaway day, I know, so how about a poem about suicide from someone you've never heard of?

Ere her limbs frigidly
Stiffen too rigidly,
Decently, kindly,
Smooth and compose them;
And her eyes, close them,
Staring so blindly!
Enjoy the beach, everybody!

(There's also this poem which I remember being parodied in a MAD magazine anthology I must have read when I was eleven. It occurs to me that there's a lot of alter-kocker culture I must have imbibed from seeing it parodied in MAD and Bugs Bunny cartoons. Stuff like the lyrics to musicals and "I'm Looking Over A Four-Leaf Clover (That I Overlooked Before)."

(The other poem is this one, which takes place at a death-bed. SPOILER ALERT: she dies. )

(Wikipedia tells me that Thomas Hood -- whom I'd never heard of until now, despite having been in the company of English majors basically all my life -- was a humorist. Couldn't prove it by these entries, although they do prove that humorists are tremendously maudlin people deep down.)

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