Friday, March 22, 2013
Vendredi: Chthonian Histories
Today, for your enjoyment, a poem by Thomas Hood who died in 1845, fairly the height of the post Burke and Hare era of the late 1820s. The poem is told from the perspective of the ghost of a young woman who, dead before she could marry her dear William, returns to him one night to recount the ghastly dismemberment her corpse has suffered. Hood clearly has a wry sense of the issue as well as a dark sense of humor. One wonders what he might have to say about our current culture's zombie craze.
The arm that used to take your arm
Is took to Dr. Vyse
And both my legs are gone to walk
The Hospital at Guy's.
I vowed that you should have my hand,
But fate gives us denial;
You'll find it there at Dr. Bell's
In spirits and a phial.
I can't tell you where my head is gone
But Doctor Carpue can;
As for my trunk, it's all packed up
To go by Pickford's van.
The cock it crows - I must be gone!
My William, we must part
But I'll be yours in death, altho'
Sir Astley has my heart.
Header: Pendumbra by Enjeong Noh via American Gallery